KAP seeks Security of Nation Building Infrastructure in Exchange for Olympics
23 May 2023
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) have joined forces with other members of the Queensland crossbench to fight for better nation building infrastructure in the regions.
The combined crossbench statement was a united stance between KAP, Stephen Andrews (PON), Noosa Independent MP Sandy Bolton and the Greens. The crossbench are seeking a cap on the overall 2032 Olympic Games spend as well as a commitment for an equivalent financial spend for nation building infrastructure projects outside of the south-east corner.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP, Robbie Katter said that because of the Olympics Queenslanders could kiss goodbye any aspirations for any additional dams, rail lines or health facilities in the regional areas.
“It needs to be understood, that even aside from money in the budget, these sporting facilities are going to consume all of the available labour and resources in relation to infrastructure for the next 10 years.
“It’s time for the people of Queensland to ask themselves, is this a priority for our state moving forward?”
KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said it was evident that the regions were being pushed aside and discarded by an Olympic-focused State Government.
“Personally I find it very hard to support the Olympics and the exuberant amount of money being spent on the capital while here in Hinchinbrook we continue to feed off the State’s crumbs when it comes to health, roads, and economy building infrastructure,” Mr Dametto
“The request to simply match the funds committed to for the Olympics with necessary infrastructure for the regions will go some way to ensuring we are not treated like the poor cousins while Brisbane throws a big party.”
KAP Member for Hill, Shane Knuth MP said the reality was North Queensland had been forgotten.
“We are faced with declining health services, youth crime, rising cost of living and a massive housing crisis.
“Regionally we have inadequate and deteriorating sporting facilities that are far inferior to those in the south-east corner, while billions are being spent on the Olympics.”
The wording of the statement is below.
Crossbench Statement on Olympics Funding
While the state government is allocating billions of dollars to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games, Queenslanders are suffering a housing crisis, underfunded hospitals and schools, with frontline services at breaking point. Every Olympic Games since 1960 has run over budget while driving up housing costs and displacing residents. For the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games to succeed, the government must be upfront with Queenslanders about the social and economic costs and ensure all decision-making is open and transparent.
The crossbench calls on the Queensland state government to:
- Formally cap the 2032 Olympic Games budget at no more than the current budgeted $7 billion.
- Invest an equivalent spend in regions that won’t receive any Olympic infrastructure, to be invested in nation-building infrastructure projects.
- Immediately make public the entire Host City contract and all relevant business cases for infrastructure and venues.
- Direct the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy or relevant department to develop and publish an Olympics housing plan to ensure that the Olympics do not drive-up housing costs and displacement, as has occurred in other host cities. In addition, as a legacy for Queensland, any built athlete accommodations must be transferred to either public housing or community housing providers after the Games.
- Scrap the current $2.7 billion Gabba demolition and redevelopment, move the Olympic and Paralympic athletics events to a more appropriate location such as Carrara, as recommended by the IOC, and ensure that any Gabba upgrades avoid any detrimental impacts on East Brisbane State School, Raymond Park, and neighbouring homes and businesses.
The entire cross bench signed the joint statement earlier on Tuesday with the statement being tabled later the same day.