By: Andrew N. Liveris AO | Published by the Courier Mail on April 29, 2022
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are often referred to as a movement. While many sporting events occur regularly across the world, none of them receive the same adulation.
I would like to share my thoughts on what makes the Olympics and Paralympics so special to billions of people.
I believe the Games harness the power to drive lasting global change. They act as a catalyst for economic growth, shape societal values and ideals, improve the health and wellbeing of communities, raise the bar on environmental transformation and build geopolitical bridges.
The key to delivering the most successful Games begins with an unrelenting focus on sport. As Australians we have a universal love for sport. This gives us an opportunity to harness the power of these Games.
We held the first Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee Board meeting this week. The Board recognised that first and foremost, we must ensure the athletes and sport remain at the centre of the Games in Brisbane 2032.
The opportunity for Queensland and Australia are the ecosystems we then build around the sport to leverage the opportunity of delivering the Games and welcoming the world.
I have great aspirations for the environmental ambitions of Brisbane 2032. Under my leadership, Dow became a TOP (The Olympic Partner) Sponsor of the International Olympic Committee in 2010, and the Sustainability Partner that created the first ‘Green Olympics’ in London 2012. We delivered initiatives that minimised the impact of the Olympics on the environment.
Brisbane 2032 has committed to being a Climate Positive Games and I am eager to see us deliver on these expectations across all aspects of the Games.
More broadly the economic opportunities attached to the Brisbane 2032 Games are significant. The “Queensland 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games – Preliminary Economic, Social and Environmental Analysis Report” delivered by KPMG estimated that over the next 20 years this event is forecast to generate increased international tourism and trade estimated at $4.6 billion for Queensland and $8.5 billion nationally. It will generate approximately 91,600 full-time job years (jobs per year) in Queensland and 122,900 full-time-equivalent job years across the nation.
A 10-year pipeline of development and construction is being accelerated to deliver Brisbane 2032 Games-ready venues and infrastructure to support our growing State. Games Partners such as the Australian and Queensland Governments and South East Queensland councils are planning the required venue upgrades. There will be six new venues and eight upgraded venues across South East Queensland.
Supporting transport infrastructure is also high on the agenda for Games Partners. Beyond the hard infrastructure is the social infrastructure that we can improve. Brisbane 2032 provides us with an opportunity to deliver improved health benefits through increased community participation in sport, sporting pathways generated for elite athletes, enhanced community infrastructure, and arts and culture initiatives, delivered with a commitment to diversity, belonging and inclusion.
Brisbane 2032 gives us a platform to accelerate and amplify these aspirations so that we become healthier individuals and more cohesive and united communities in all aspects – be it mental, physical, social and emotional.
To deliver such large ambitions, we require a large team. A global team. I will be drawing on my global contacts to build this team.
Brisbane 2032 will unify the globe beneath a goal that almost everyone in the world can contribute and benefit. At a time when global politics is heightened and geopolitical relationships are bruised, Brisbane 2032 offers us all a chance to acknowledge joint ambitions, celebrate individual strengths and remind us of our shared humanity.
And it will all happen here. In Brisbane, in Queensland and in Australia. Our beautiful city and state will bask in the glow that shines on us. Games Partners are already busy delivering the 2032 stage. Now the OCOG Board is ready and energised to start planning.
We will deliver our responsibilities on a cost-neutral basis so that the event delivers for Queensland for decades to come.
Get ready Queensland. The Brisbane 2032 movement is coming.
Andrew N. Liveris AO is President of the Organising Committee Board for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games