Paralympics Australia embraces the Federal and Queensland Governments’ major agreement on funding for the 2032 Brisbane Paralympic and Olympic Games, which will deliver venues and infrastructure that align with Paralympics Australia’s strategic and legacy goals for the Games.
The Queensland Government will fund a $2.7 billion redevelopment of the Brisbane Cricket Ground, known as the ‘Gabba, and the Federal Government will provide $2.5 billion for the development of Brisbane Arena.
Sixteen new or upgraded venues will receive close to $1.87 billion in co-funding on a 50/50 basis between the two governments.
The announcement was made at an event attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, gold medallist Paralympians Paige Greco and Rachael Watson, and other dignitaries.
Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan said the Brisbane 2032 commitment to improved access to sporting facilities and other Games-related infrastructure was warmly welcomed.
“Australian sporting infrastructure needs to be accessible and built with universal and inclusive design principles,” O’Callaghan said.
“This benefits athletes, fans, volunteers and employees, enriching the Games experience and the enduring legacy for the community.
“Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister and Premier of Queensland provides direction and certainty for Paralympics Australia to work towards its Games goals around inclusion, diversity and accessibility.”
Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Catherine Clark said the level of infrastructure investment announced today was transformational.
“By revamping existing infrastructure and building new facilities, accessibility and inclusion come closer to the centre of our consciousness,” Clark said.
“The goal is to allow more members of the community to benefit from their facilities and today’s announcement is a promise of a truly accessible Paralympic and Olympic Games. It’s a commitment to fully embrace the unprecedented opportunity that a Games brings to make generational change beyond sport.”
An extract from Paralympics Australia’s five-pillar Strategic Plan “The Strategy for Australian Paralympic Sport to Brisbane and Beyond” – to be released on March 1 – says: “Paralympic sport is a powerful vehicle to visibly model what systems and structures founded on the principles of universal, inclusive, and accessible design can look like – and the positive social impact they can have for all Australians.”
Prime Minister Albanese said at the funding announcement today: “The Australian Government has worked cooperatively with the Palaszczuk Government to secure infrastructure projects that will have a long-term and transformational impact on Queensland as we count down to 2032.
“My Government is ensuring that every dollar that is invested has lasting benefits, not just for Brisbane but for all Queenslanders and all Australians.”
Premier Palaszczuk said no project was built solely for the few weeks of Games competition.
“For example, the Gabba has hosted sport for more than a century and is home to cricket and AFL most weeks of the year,” the Premier said.
“It must be upgraded to maintain our competitiveness for international sport and events.”
Commenting on Brisbane Arena, planned to be built with easy access for people of all mobilities to the city’s rail and bus network, the Premier said: “Brisbane Arena will provide a new indoor entertainment centre – something Brisbane’s CBD has not had since the demolition of Festival Hall in 2003.”
The President of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, Andrew Liveris, said: “More than $17.61 billion is expected to be generated in economic and social benefits across Australia through the delivery of Brisbane 2032.
“Today’s announcement from the Australian and Queensland Government reflects this forecast being brought to life through jobs, economic growth and community benefits that will be generated before, and continue on long after, the Games.”
By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 17 February 2023