WORDS: Mayor Tom Tate PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

With less than nine years to go, planning for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is increasingly gathering momentum for Queensland

July 23 was a historic date for our city. It marked nine years to go until the opening ceremony for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

While the countdown to history continues, I appreciate that currently, many Gold Coasters are more focused on the ‘here and now’ so far as cost-of-living, raising their families, working hard or expanding their businesses.

That makes absolute sense but what also makes sense is that we use these next few years to maximise every legacy opportunity that will come from the 2032 Games.

I cannot stress enough the importance of delivering key legacy outcomes early. By early, I mean now.

The games, and supporting events, will be more than six weeks of incredible sport, cultural festivals and community celebrations. World records will be set and memories etched in our collective minds.

To me, the legacy opportunities for our city and the SEQ region far outweigh who wins the 100m men’s finals or sweeps gold in the pool.

Currently, there is talk at Games committee level about building temporary pop-up facilities. Let me be clear: there are zero legacy benefits in temporary facilities and I again strongly encourage board members to focus on refreshing and updating existing sports and community venues across the SEQ region, rather than building pop-up temporary venues or bulldozing the entire Gabba precinct at a cost of $2.5 billion-plus. No ratepayer or taxpayer will thank you for that, as cost-of-living continues to bite.

Right now, in a loungeroom of a family home in Ormeau or at a local skate park, future Olympic and Paralympic medallists are dreaming their dreams and working hard to stand on that podium.

Just like their parents, we know the talent is out there and to support this growth, we have launched the Gold Coast City’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.

The strategy is our blueprint to give every Gold Coaster the chance to improve their own health and fitness.

Equally, it will set a laser focus on the talent which exists in our community now, and give these future Olympians and Paralympians the best support and guidance as we countdown the years, then months and weeks until 23 July 2032.

Legacy starts now.

Tom Tate – Mayor