Games hi­jacked by the ‘PC po­lice’

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

FOR­MER LNP Min­is­ter Jann Stuckey is urg­ing Com­mon­wealth Games or­gan­is­ers to put the fun back into the Gold Coast Games.

Ms Stuckey, who was Com­mon­wealth Games Min­is­ter in the New­man gov­ern­ment, has hit out at Games chiefs for al­lowed the “PC po­lice” too much in­flu­ence on the event.

The Cur­rumbin MP said when she pitched the Gold Coast Games to the world she spoke about surf life­savers, me­ter maids and fun in the sun.

The Gold Coast Me­ter Maids have been banned from the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies, a de­ci­sion GOLDOC has stuck firm on, de­spite a cam­paign to in­clude them.

“The Gold Coast is a fun place, we want to mar­ket that to the world and be who we are,” she said.

“When I was the Games Min­is­ter I spoke about our Games hav­ing all things Gold Coast, the fact that lo­cal icons like the Me­ter Maids are not in­volved is ridicu­lous.”

Ms Stuckey told the Bul­letin she was gen­uinely con­cerned the Games had been “sab­o­taged” and our “friendly na­ture” sti­fled.

“In­stead of lay­ing down the law about how we should act dur­ing the Games, of­fi­cials should be ramp­ing up the lo­cal flavour and em­brac­ing us, not crush­ing our iden­tity and en­thu­si­asm bit by bit,” she said.

Ms Stuckey’s com­ments come weeks af­ter GOLDOC told 15,000 Games vol­un­teers to use gen­der-neu­tral lan­guage when ad­dress­ing spec­ta­tors.

There was fur­ther controversy when GOLDOC is­sued “In­va­sion Day” bar­be­cue in­vites to staff in the lead-up to Aus­tralia Day.

The arts fes­ti­val due to run along­side the Games has also come un­der fire, with crit­ics unim­pressed by com­ments from Com­mon­wealth Games Fed­er­a­tion CEO David Grevem­berg that it is de­signed to fa­cil­i­tate “coura­geous con­ver­sa­tions” re­gard­ing “gen­der equal­ity, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and youth em­pow­er­ment.”

Com­mon­wealth Games Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man Peter Beat­tie has pre­vi­ously dis­missed the crit­i­cisms, say­ing sug­ges­tions that the fun is be­ing taken out of the Games are “well wide of the mark”.

Ms Stuckey also said fears about dis­rup­tion to ev­ery­day lives were also af­fect­ing the view of the Games held by many of her con­stituents.

“We con­ducted a sur­vey in the area, which shows the peo­ple in the Cur­rumbin elec­torate are too wor­ried about how they will live dur­ing the Games to get ex­cited about them,” she said.

Pic­ture: GLENN BARNES

Mem­ber for Cur­rumbin Jann Stuckey.

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