Peter and Peters the pair to make our Games great
An unlikely bond is at the heart of our biggest sports spectacle in history
THIS story will not be for everyone.
LNP life members will cringe at the starring role of Labor hero Peter Beattie. Commonwealth Games critics will fire up at references to the glorious event ahead.
As for those who hate bromance movies? Best look away now.
“I don’t want to embarrass him but Mark’s doing a fantastic job,” GOLDOC chair Beattie says of the man by his side, his chief executive Mark Peters.
“He’s competent. He’s hard working. He’s committed. He’s devoted to (the job). He’s motivated and he motivates people.” Peters returns the love. “Peter talks about our culture,” he says of Beattie. “But when you have a chairman who walks around and says hello to everyone, it has a massive impact on your organisation.
“It’s amazing what a smile and a hello and a ‘how you doing’ means (to staff). That’s been a great thing and that’s the leadership Peter has shown and the respect he has out in the community.”
It’s eight weeks until the opening ceremony of GC2018 and, as well as addressing 10 of the hottest games issues (featured earlier this week), GOLDOC’s two most powerful players have invited the Bulletin to discuss their unique relationship.
As chairman and CEO, Beattie and Peters may not have the weight of the world on their shoulders but they sure have the hopes and reputation of a city in their hands.
From the May day in 2016 when then-Games minister Stirling Hinchliffe told Peters to dust off the welcome mat for his third chairman in four years, they have stood side-byside to deliver a once-in-a-life- time spectacle that overwhelming in its scope.
The biggest event in the state’s history. A sporting program three times greater than the 1982 Brisbane Games. A spectator program more than seven times the size of the GC600. Not to forget the more than 15,000 volunteers, a deployment of 3500 police and an extra six million transport trips. And it’s all on their watch. “When you have such a diverse event and all its complexities, what you want from your is chairman and board is support, understanding and the want to challenge,” says Peters, who first worked with the thenpremier during the redevelopment of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in the early 2000s.
“That’s been the strength Peter has brought into this. The previous chairs (Mark Stockwell and Nigel Chamier) did a great job (but) he has brought worldly experience about how to deal with so many facets of society, business and politics.”
Not to mention a history as a self-confessed media tart. “We want that,” Peters says of his boss’s reputation for stepping in front of the cameras. “There’s such a good story to be told and he’s able to deliver.
“We were excited (to learn of his appointment) because we knew coming into the Games what the media attention and political tensions were going to be, what the egos were that (would) come to the table.
“There’s no fear (with Peter). He has his own style.”
Asked about his willingness to publicly say what his CEO may not be able to (think “suck it up” in response to locals fearing traffic chaos), Beattie says: “That’s what a chair should do.
“I’m at a lucky place in my life where all I want to do is the right thing and if I think something’s right, I’ll say it.”
As one would expect, the two are in frequent communication, all the more so as the Games nears.
“It’d be every day and sometimes it’s several times a day,” Beattie says.
And what about when the pressure’s on? Any blow-ups?
“Never had one,” Beattie says. “It’s an honest and frank relationship. There’s no waffle.
“We look at problems as things that need to be solved. We’re totally outcome-focused so you have no room for conflict or ego ... Mark’s tough when he has to be and I’d expect nothing less.
“As you can gather, I have enormous respect for Mark ... there’s good chemistry between us.”
GOLDOC chair Peter Beattie and CEO Mark Peters have a strong working relationship.