Peter and Pe­ters the pair to make our Games great

An un­likely bond is at the heart of our big­gest sports spec­ta­cle in his­tory

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - DWAYNE GRANT

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.

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