Brisbane has been announced as the preferred bidder for the 2032 Olympic Games following an executive committee meeting at the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics look all-but certain to return to Australia for the first time since 2000, with IOC president Thomas Bach telling a news conference on Wednesday that the decision "was not a decision against anybody."
'DISGUSTING': Shock over tennis star's 'vile' on-court act
"This is just a decision in favour of one interested party at this moment in time," he said.
Preferred status means the IOC will negotiate exclusively with the Australian bid.
Brisbane, if negotiations conclude successfully and are then approved by an IOC Session, would be the third Australian city to host the Games after Melbourne had the honour in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
That would effectively end the hopes of other bidders, with Rhine-Ruhr, Doha, Budapest, Jakarta, New Delhi, Istanbul, St Petersburg and the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing having also looked into possible bids.
Bach said Brisbane "proposes sustainable Games in line with the region's long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues.
"The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000.
"This is why we see such strong public support.
"We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later.
"In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades."
Olympic Games set to return to Australia
Brisbane earned bonus points for its high percentage of existing venues, a good masterplan, experience in organising major events and its favourable weather among other things.
The IOC were also impressed by the impressive way that Queensland hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The IOC developed the preferred bidder system in 2019 to prevent potential hosts spending large amounts of money over several years only to fall short.
"We are delighted the IOC Executive Board agreed with the Commission's recommendation to invite Brisbane 2032 to targeted dialogue," said Kristin Kloster Aasen, chair of the Future Host Commission.
"The IOC executive board and the Commission noted the excellent progress that it has made, the strength of its proposition and the strategic opportunities it affords to the Olympic Movement.
"They are a very advanced project, a number of criteria that sit very well with us. It has been moulded for a number of years, good legacy plans, good venue plan," she said.
"There are many, many things that made us put this forward," she added.
Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games, delayed to this year because of the coronavirus, while Paris has the 2024 Games and Los Angeles the 2028 edition after a double award was made in 2017.
Fans around the world were overjoyed by the news.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.