Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates.

Ipswich commits to 2032 Olympic Games

IPSWICH councillors have voted for the city to provide ‘its commitment and support’ to Brisbane as the state’s capital edges closer to securing the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Exactly how Ipswich will be involved in 11 years’ time is not yet clear, with discussions taking place behind closed doors due to confidentiality requirements.

At a special council meeting on Thursday morning, councillors voted unanimously for the council to enter into a Delivery Partner Guarantee Deed.

This will commit the organisation to providing support to the state government and other entities in the form of public services, the use of venues and potential funding contributions.

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This process will be handled by acting CEO Sonia Cooper, who took part in her first council meeting on Thursday since taking on the role.

The council announced last week the under-construction Brisbane Lions facility at Springfield is being considered as a venue to host football preliminaries and modern pentathlon and Mayor Teresa Harding indicated the North Ipswich Reserve Stadium could also play a part.

Lawyer Jamie Doran from legal firm Clayton Utz explained why the discussions had to be conducted in a closed session.

“The first requirement of confidentiality is obviously the requirement and the interest of the parties themselves who are participating in the bid,” he said.

“There is a requirement that the hosts have that information that is relevant to the bid obviously doesn’t get into the public domain such that it might prejudice the opportunity of the hosts to be able to win the games.

“There is significant public interest obviously in the parties keeping information that is relevant to the bid confidential.

“On the flip side the International Olympic Committee also wants the information to be kept confidential to avoid any allegations that there’s been any collusion between bidders who might be participating in their process.

“But it’s fundamentally important for them to maintain the integrity of their process. Like (the council’s) tender processes they have a requirement to make sure that bidders do not collude and share information as part of their bid process.”

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The Council of Mayors SEQ CEO Scott Smith was also in attendance to answer councillors’ questions.

After about 45 minutes of discussion behind closed doors, councillors voted unanimously for the council to enter into the agreement.

Nothing was said publicly about the decision.

“This is an exciting day for Ipswich,” Cr Harding said.

“This is the very first time that our city is discussing how we’re going to potentially be part of the 2032 Olympics which will be based in south east Queensland.

“It’s a momentous time for our city. We’re the oldest provincial city in Queensland and the fastest growing city in Queensland.

“I lived in Sydney when the announcement was made that (they secured the 2000 Olympics) as well as living through it and afterwards.

“It’s a real point in time. Ipswich would never have the opportunity to host the Olympics on its own so to be part of this south east Queensland Olympics is a terrific opportunity.”

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Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.