Townsville Bulletin

Call for Olympic Sevens

Petition push for city to get more out of Games win

- SAM FLANAGAN

THE drums are beating louder for Townsville to be handed its fair share of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, with concerns raised over what could happen if the city is just eft with the scraps.

Member for Hinchinbro­ok Nick Dametto and founder of Our Fair Share Colin Dwyer have wrapped up their petition that urged the state government to create a nation-building fund to offset negative impacts of the Olympics on regional Queensland.

The pair were pleased with the community’s support for the petition, which gained 1589 signatures.

Mr Dametto said prior to the southeast’s goal to secure the Olympics, North Queensland already struggled to get its priorities noticed.

He said the repayment and net tax burden associated with the games would disproport­ionately affect people in regional Queensland.

“The response indicates that North Queensland­ers deserve more from the Palaszczuk government,” Mr Dametto said.

“The Prime Minister has promised that the Brisbane 2032 Olympics will benefit all regions of Queensland when that won’t be the case.

“We’ve already heard that the Brisbane 2032 Olympics masterplan includes 32 venues within southeast Queensland, including a rebuild of the Gabba. “North Queensland is fighting for a piece of the pie. Holding a few minor events in Townsville will not offset the massive drain of skilled workforce from regional Queensland to Brisbane to build these facilities.”

Townsville has proved this year it can pull off a major sporting events, highlighte­d by the All Stars, State of Origin and Rugby Championsh­ip.

Mr Dwyer said he looked forward to the government responding to the petition.

“All costs need to be considered and accountabl­e and all regions need a better deal from the Brisbane Olympics, not just the southeast,” Mr Dwyer said.

“It’s been suggested that Townsville might secure more events from Brisbane Olympics, and this has my full support.

“I believe Townsville is the ideal location for the 2032 Olympic Rugby Sevens.

“However, Townsville, like Brisbane, will need more accommodat­ion for athletes and spectators, improved associated infrastruc­ture like roads, walking bridges, performanc­e venues, basic health services and a skills security plan.

“If the southeast is allocated funds to cater for the Brisbane Olympics, then the North deserves its fair share to offset the negative impacts that will be put on regional Queensland,” he said.

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