'Secret' Scott Morrison act behind IOC's call on Brisbane Olympics

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Scott Morrison, pictured here speaking to the media in Canberra.
Scott Morrison reportedly helped pave the way for Brisbane to host the 2032 Olympics. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee was reportedly 'sold' on Brisbane's bid for the 2032 Olympics after a 'secret' meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

On Thursday the IOC announced Brisbane as the 'preferred partner' for the 2032 Games, meaning the Queensland city has all-but secured the hosting rights.

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Brisbane could be confirmed as the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics host by July, with influential Australian Games chief John Coates confident of getting the final vote over the line.

On Friday, The Age reported that Mr Morrison met with Coates and IOC President Thomas Bach at the G20 summit in Osaka in 2019.

The Prime Minister reportedly “sold” Bach on Brisbane's bid and told senior powerbrokers that Queensland had the full support of his government.

"In order for Bach to be convinced Brisbane had the full backing of the government, he needed to hear it from the Prime Minister himself," The Age reports.

"Morrison, a former Tourism Australia boss whose penchant for marketing divides opinions, sold the dream hard."

Mr Morrison reportedly met with Bach again last November when he was in Tokyo meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Brisbane Olympics 'cost-neutral' despite $4.5 billion sum

Aiming to be the third Australian city to host a Games after Melbourne (1956) and Sydney (2000), Brisbane's chances received a massive boost on Thursday when the IOC awarded exclusive negotiation rights.

The IOC's new decision-making process is designed to be more streamlined and cost effective, shelving rival bids from the likes of Doha, Budapest, Istanbul and St Petersburg to focus on Brisbane.

There are still some administrative hoops to jump through but Coates, who is also the IOC vice-president, is confident.

"The IOC now deal exclusively with us while we complete the questionnaire," he explained.

"The other cities who have shown interest have been parked ... it's significant recognition.

"It will go to a vote and we've got to get 50 per cent plus one - I'll be able to get those numbers."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, pictured here speaking to the media in Brisbane.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates speak to the media in Brisbane. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Coates claims a Brisbane Games will be cost neutral, with the IOC and sponsorship deals set to cover the estimated $4.5 billion in operational costs.

A feasibility study this month proposed a 50,000-capacity Brisbane Olympic Stadium for ceremonies and athletics, as well as a 15,000-seat Brisbane Indoor Sports Centre to host basketball and a 15,000-seat Brisbane Arena for swimming and water polo as the three major wish list items.

These sports could be hosted at existing venues though and organisers are conscious of avoiding "white elephants" seen in countries like Brazil and Greece, once an Olympics has been held.

The Gold Coast, fresh off staging the Commonwealth Games in 2018, and Sunshine Coast would also act as event and village hubs, while soccer games could be held in stadiums across regional Queensland as well as at the Sydney Football Stadium and Melbourne's AAMI Park.

General city infrastructure upgrades are also underway or expected and would be necessary anyway to cope with the region's expected growth in the next 11 years.

with AAP

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