Our highways and railway lines hold the key to bringing business into regional cities in the lead-up to and during the Olympics.
Our highways and railway lines hold the key to bringing business into regional cities in the lead-up to and during the Olympics.

Games to ‘fast track’ roads and railways

REGIONAL highways and railway lines hold the key to bringing business into regional cities in the lead-up to and during the Olympics, the head of one of the state's larger businesses claims.

A feasibility study commissioned by the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, reveals an estimated operational budget for the Games is $5.3 billion.

However, that figure would be offset by a contribution of about $2.5 billion from the International Olympic Committee and the event would generate $2.7 billion revenue from sponsors, ticket sales and merchandise.

Harvey Lister, head of the world's largest event management company, says the money is worth it.

As CEO of venue operator ASM Global and one of the business heavyweights backing Queensland's push for the Games, Mr Lister says regional transport corridors are capable of "incremental growth" that could happen year on year between now and 2032.

Based on initial discussions with the government, he said there were plans in place to add public transport infrastructure.

Regional Queensland and NSW would reap the economic benefits of the Games when road, rail and marine upgrades are rolled out across the state.

"That includes rolling stock, buses, ferries on the river, in addition to ... highway (upgrades)," Mr Lister said.

"People are now living in regional areas and travelling to capital cities for work and leisure.

"It gives a reason to do it now, rather than waiting till the congestion meter redlines.

Mr Lister, who has worked on multiple Olympic Games events across Sydney, Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro and Salt Lake City, said regional cities could also capitalise on acclimatisation in the lead-up to the Games and host athletes and training crews.

"For the Sydney Games, athletics squads came to Brisbane and used Nudgee College, who then upgraded their athletics grounds," he said.

"Those facilities are still there today and it's one of the most used athletics grounds for community and inter-school and regional athletics carnivals."

The Australian Olympic Committee said small businesses would take advantage of supply chain opportunities, allowing them to deliver goods and services directly to the Games.

"In the 2012 London Games, for example, 98 per cent of their 1036 contracts were awarded to UK companies," an AOC spokesman said.

"The contracts were worth more than 5 billion pounds (about $10 billion) and 46 per cent of them were won by firms outside of London."

In 2017, the International Olympic Committee revealed the 2016 Rio Games had created more than 16,000 jobs for the hundreds of new residences, buildings and sport facilities needed for the Games.

It claimed because of the Games, about $1.8 billion was invested in the country's tourism industry.

A 2018 study by Brazil's Institute for Applied Economic Research concluded the country's preparation for the 2016 Games led to unemployment falling across the second quarter of that year.

The research found that without the Games, Rio's GDP per capita would have been 7.5 per cent lower in the period leading up to the event (2012-14) and 5.1 per cent lower in Greater Rio.


Revamped park claims a national award

Premium Content Revamped park claims a national award

“I AM thrilled because it recognises many, many months of hard work and...

Fatal shooting of inmate to be investigated

Premium Content Fatal shooting of inmate to be investigated

The coroner has raised questions about the evidence heard