micenet Logo
0 - MH - DGC
1 - T1 - BCEC
2 - T2 - Sanctuary Cove
3 - T3 - Australian Event Awards
2 - T2 - Sanctuary Cove

Queensland Government rejects new stadium recommendation from Olympic venues review

Share this story

Queensland Government rejects new stadium recommendation from Olympic venues review
The review into the venues for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics was made public on Monday, but the state government rejected some of the report’s key recommendations before they were published.

The review recommended building a completely new stadium at Victoria Park, just north of the Brisbane city centre, and eventually demolishing the Gabba and repurposing the site.

The review suggested a new stadium at Victoria Park would cost $3.4 billion, while the originally planned knockdown and rebuild of the Gabba would come in at $3 billion, with additional costs for the displacement of sporting codes that play there coming in anywhere between $185 million and $360 million.

“When Queenslanders are struggling with housing and other costs, I cannot justify to them spending $3.4 billion on a new stadium,” Queensland Premier Stephen Miles said at a press conference yesterday.

“I ordered this review because I had heard from Queenslanders that $2.7 billion at the Gabba was too much, so I know that for Queenslanders, $3.4 billion at Victoria Park will be too much. So I’m ruling that out.

“I know that I said I’d do what the Quirk Review recommended but I cannot support the option that they have landed on.”

Miles said that instead, the government would put its support behind an option put forward by John Coates, the former head of the Australian Olympic Committee and current member of the International Olympic Committee.

The suggestion put forward by Coates will see Suncorp Stadium, the Gabba and the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC) all refurbished, with Suncorp Stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies and QSAC to host the Olympic athletics program.

The 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium sits just to the west of Brisbane’s CBD, while QSAC is 10km south of the city centre.

The venues review panel, headed by former Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, suggested the cost of upgrading QSAC and ensuring it complies Olympic requirements is between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion. The panel did not recommend this idea as they did not believe it represented value for money, given most of the financial investment would go towards meeting temporary overlay.

Meanwhile the state government disputes some of the Olympic overlay costs suggested by the review, with Miles saying the IOC had committed to working with Brisbane Olympics organisers to minimise those costs. 

Miles said the government had been considering alternatives for weeks, after learning of what the review panel was likely to suggest.

“We’ve been working on this plan in recent weeks,” he said.

“When it was clear the direction the panel was heading in, I indicated to our public servants that we needed another option.”

Miles said the alternative solution that the government announced “is closer to what I was looking for”.

“I indicated when I did the review that there were no perfect solutions, no easy solutions – if there was, we would have found them sooner. But this is an alternative that allows us to stay within our funding envelope, deliver those legacy benefits, particularly around public transport and connectivity, invest in wider public transport projects, like Sunshine Coast direct rail, so I see this as the best value option.

“I don’t see how I could have justified pouring another billion dollars into the Games funding envelope. I was determined to stay within the existing envelope.”

Of the 30 recommendations the venues report made, the Queensland Government said it was accepting 27.

Aside from the major stadium findings, other recommendations from the report which constitute a change from what was originally proposed include moving the location of the new Brisbane Arena to a location in Roma St Parklands, moving the indoor sports precinct from Breakfast Creek in Albion to a different location in Boondall or Zillmere and scrapping the upgrade of the stadium at Toowoomba Sports Ground.

Updates to your inbox

More News