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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Premier makes official bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Saturday, October 02, 2010

    Premier makes official bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games

    NEW DELHI: Premier Anna Bligh has today taken the Gold Coast’s bid to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games to members of the International Games Committee in Delhi, highlighting the city’s natural fit as host venue.

    Speaking at the Commonwealth Games Federation Assembly meeting in Delhi – attended by representatives of each Commonwealth country – Ms Bligh highlighted the coastal strip’s international standing as an elite sports training venue and plans to build future sporting infrastructure, as well as informing delegates about the city’s spectacular natural environment and safe reputation.

    “The time is right for the Gold Coast,” Ms Bligh said.

    “I think all Queenslanders understand the sheer magnitude of what hosting an event like the 2018 Commonwealth Games could do for our state and for proof you need look no further than the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

    “We grew into an international class city after those Games and we know from experience that the 2018 Games – which would be the first held in a regional city should the Gold Coast be successful – are the ideal platform for the coast to transform itself into even bigger and better things.

    “We have been able today to show the Commonwealth delegates why the Gold Coast is truly up to the task.

    “The work carried out by our bid team in the lead up to today’s official pitch to the Games Assembly showed the Gold Coast is well placed to stage a successful Games and we have what it takes to host such a massive event.”

    The Gold Coast is facing off against the city of Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Ms Bligh said the competition was not to be underestimated.

    “Hambantota is a developing city but their bid to delegates today has shown they have firm plans to host the Games also and nobody should just assume the Gold Coast is home and hosed.

    “There’s still a lot of work to do before our official bid book is lodged in May 2011 and the Commonwealth Games Federation announces the successful country in November next year.”

    Ms Bligh said a range of infrastructure projects will be undertaken on the Gold Coast should the bid be successful, bringing millions in future infrastructure to the region and creating thousands of jobs.

    These include:

    ·A new velodrome

    ·An upgrade of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

    ·Further works on the new Carrara stadium to accommodate track and field

    ·Construction of accommodation for the Athletes Village at Gold Coast Parklands in Southport

    ·Temporary conversion of existing non-sporting facilities for use as squash courts and boxing and weightlifting arenas

    “This would not only be a huge boost to infrastructure on the coastal strip – it’s infrastructure that builds for the future beyond 2018.

    “For example after the Games, the accommodation built at Parklands for the Athletes Village would provide new high-density housing and office space for the region, close to Griffith University, the new Gold Coast University Hospital and the future Rapid Transit Stations.

    “This would be a win-win for the Gold Coast and shows how smart planning could turn Commonwealth Games facilities into long-term infrastructure for the Coast.

    “It’s estimated more than 30,000 jobs would be generated if the Games go ahead on the Coast, across a range of industries including construction, manufacturing, recreation, cultural and business services.

    “That’s not an opportunity our government is about to overlook.”

    Ms Bligh was joined at the Games Assembly by the 2018 bid team chief former Olympian and respected businessman Mark Stockwell. Ill health prevented Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke from making the journey to India however he addressed the delegation in a pre-recorded video message.

    “There is no doubt we’ve got some competition but our sleeves are rolled up and we are getting on with the job of securing the Games because I can think of no better place than the Gold Coast to put on a show for the world,” Ms Bligh said.

    Media Contact: 0419 710 874