Ken­nett’s push for real Games re­ward

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - TOM BOSWELL tom.boswell@news.com.au

JEFF Ken­nett says the legacy left by the 2018 Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games is as crit­i­cal as the event it­self.

The for­mer Vic­to­rian Pre­mier was in­stru­men­tal in Mel­bourne win­ning the 2006 Games and will be part of a panel to dis­cuss how to max­imise the ben­e­fits of the event at the Going for Gold Legacy Sym­po­sium, to be hosted by the Bul­letin on Oc­to­ber 31.

Mr Ken­nett said so much fo­cus was put on the lead-up, in­fra­struc­ture pro­vi­sions and the event it­self but em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of us­ing the Games as a launch­ing pad for the fu­ture.

“One thing you don’t want to do is in 2050 have this com­mu­nity look back and the only thing they re­mem­ber is the Com­mon­wealth Games,” he said.

“If that is the case then lead­er­ship has failed.

“The Com­mon­wealth Games is the op­por­tu­nity to re­launch into the half cen­tury. It’s got to be a launch­ing pad.

“The great chal­lenge here on the Gold Coast is to try and iden­tify how we are going to main­tain that recog­ni­tion.”

Mr Ken­nett said us­ing the as­sets, host­ing more events and above all boast­ing a strong com­mu­nity con­nect were key.

“The Com­mon­wealth Games gives you the op­por­tu­nity to re­fresh and to be able to put to­gether a pro­gram both of ac­tiv­i­ties while us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties but also some of the nat­u­ral as­sets,” he said.

“It is the per­sonal con­nect that is going to make a dif­fer­ence in the long term. In Mel­bourne we built a com­mu­nity base on hav­ing a ma­jor events pro­gram that in­volved both sport and the arts.

“I’m not a great sup­porter in one-off events.

“You put a lot of en­ergy into them but you re­ally need to ei­ther de­velop your own events that are held an­nu­ally or you have to go out and try and se­cure them.

“Be­ing a regional city gives the Gold Coast an ad­van­tage be­cause it has the crit­i­cal mass to de­liver those.”

Mr Ken­nett said hav­ing a

THE GAMES IS THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO RE­LAUNCH INTO THE HALF CEN­TURY. IT’S GOT TO BE A LAUNCH­ING PAD JEFF KEN­NETT

mix of lead­ers with both ex­pe­ri­ence and youth would en­sure the legacy was de­liv­ered.

“The plan­ning re­quires lead­ers who are think­ing about all these is­sues to­day,” Mr Ken­nett said.

“You need to make sure among your lead­er­ship group you have peo­ple who are young enough that are still going to be around in 2050 and prob­a­bly in po­si­tions of lead­er­ship.”

LNP po­lit­i­cal can­di­date for the Broad­wa­ter elec­torate David Crisa­fulli said the Games had to spring­board the city to the next level.

“It can’t be the tro­phy in the cab­i­net, it has the be the start of the next wave of the city ma­tur­ing,” he said.

Pic­ture: GLENN HAMP­SON

Jeff Ken­nett and David Crisa­fulli, with the Countdown Clock at Surfers Par­adise Beach on the Gold Coast, see the Com­mon­wealth Games as a great op­por­tu­nity.

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