Mr PERRETT (Gympie—LNP) (3.29 pm): I rise to speak on the Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic
Games Arrangements Bill 2021. The primary policy objectives of this bill are to establish the Brisbane
Organising Committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and to establish a board of
directors to, according to the explanatory notes, undertake and facilitate the organisation, conduct,
promotion and commercial and financial management of the games and to ensure the corporation
performs its functions in a proper, effective and efficient way.
Hosting the games in Queensland will be about so much more than a few weeks of sport. It is
about 20 years of opportunity for the whole state. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Hosting
the Olympic Games can be the spark to deliver benefits that all Queenslanders can enjoy. That means
Queenslanders everywhere and not just the southeast corner. The success of the games will be judged
not on the two-week event held in 11 years’ time; it will be judged on the legacy of lasting and meaningful
infrastructure. It will be judged on the legacy of upskilling and training opportunities. It will be judged on
whether it delivers increased and improved tourism potential. It will be judged on the impact it will have
on encouraging Queenslanders to live and embrace active and healthy lifestyles.
The submission from the Australian Institute for Progress highlighted that since 1976 the average
overrun on Summer Olympics is 213 per cent and the median 120 per cent. It said it put a 20 per cent
chance on the possibility that a $5 billion budget would blow out to $15 billion. The success of the games
will be judged on whether it will be cautious and prudent with taxpayers’ money and not be a massive
bureaucracy that overspends, is late with delivery and underperforms. It will be judged on whether it
bequeaths a massive bill for generations to repay.
That is why it is important that those appointed to the board are accountable, meet transparency
expectations and manage conflicts of interest with good governance. This is a bipartisan event which
should truly reflect the bipartisan agreement. This is a taxpayers’ event and taxpayers should be treated
with openness, transparency and respect. The Information Commissioner in her submission said that
community expectations are high, with 86 per cent of Queenslanders surveyed in 2021 indicating that
the right to access information was important. This bill, in particular clause 65, seeks to make
exemptions to the Right to Information Act. Exemptions should be treated with the utmost caution and
only used in the most exceptional of circumstances. It should not be used to cloak information in
secrecy. It should not be used to deny the public access to information it has a right to know. The
Information Commissioner raised concerns about the right to information amendments. She
In this case the Explanatory notes do not provide a compelling case to justify an exclusion from the operation of the RTI Act …
The commissioner said—
A right to information law that strikes an appropriate balance between the right of access and limiting that right of access on public
interest grounds is critical to both a robust, accountable government and an informed community.
We have heard exaggerated claims about the benefits that will flow from this Olympic Games.
Those claims need to be treated with caution. The AIP executive director, Graham Young, said the
benefits from both the Sydney Olympics and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games showed no
discernible increase to economic activity, employment or tourism. It appears that most of the return from
the megasporting events is economic activity that is diverted from elsewhere in the economy, so there
is no overall increase in activity, it is just shifted from one area to another. We must ensure that the
benefits are real and statewide—truly statewide. They should not be simply a diversion of funds from
one area to another. The goal is to translate the claims and expectations into real and tangible benefits.
Gympie is situated within the catchment of whatever happens in the south-east corner. The
Olympic Games will be truly for all Queenslanders if it delivers for Gympie and translates into upgraded
and new infrastructure, increased business opportunities and activities, employment and skilling
opportunities, better public transport services and transport infrastructure. This is a golden opportunity
to bring forward local infrastructure and transport services. Gympie is connected more and more to the
south-east with the upgrade of the Bruce Highway. Fixing our train issues with a very fast train makes
sense. A very fast train cements the desirability of hosting training opportunities and for tourists to visit.
It would be an easy, hassle-free commute for spectators, competitors, visitors and officials. Gympie can
also host sporting teams that will need to acclimatise before events.
In May I asked the Premier a question on notice about what sporting, community and transport
infrastructure, including upgrades of current facilities, will be considered for my electorate. The Premier
advised that she looks forward to working with the Gympie region and community to ensure legacy
benefits from the games are realised for the region. A multiuse sport and events facility should be
brought forward and be part of the mix. The Gympie Regional Council’s sport and recreation plan has
identified that more sporting facilities are needed. A purpose-built, brand new shooting facility, which
has been advocated for for a long time, could provide great opportunities for training and possibly host
competitions. It is a natural fit for the region.
Global events such as the Olympic Games provide a once-in-a-lifetime chance to not only host
sporting events and build legacy infrastructure projects but also promote the region for tourism and
business opportunities. There is no reason why Gympie cannot benefit from a successful Olympics. If
the Olympic Games is to be for all Queenslanders, Gympie needs to be given a piece of the pie. I do
not oppose the bill.