Queensland’s Gold Coast is formally bidding for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
The Queensland government, the Gold Coast City council and the Commonwealth Games Association signed the bid documents Wednesday morning.
Premier Anna Bligh says $11 million has been set aside for the bid and hosting the Games could cost more than a billion dollars.
“I’m very excited about this bid – I think it is an opportunity for us to be promoting the Gold Coast in every Commonwealth country,” she said.
“As we go through the bid process I believe we are very well placed to win this bid and that gives us the chance over the next 8 years to grow the Gold Coast’s ability.”
Mayor of the Gold Coast Ron Clarke says a lot of the infrastructure needed for a Commonwealth Games is already planned or in place.
“The convention centre, more particularly we have a potential great site for the village at Griffith University there,” he said.
“We have the aquatic centre at Southport, and of course Carrara.
“We have the main stadium due and so most of our facilities we have them up and ready and so we have a great advantage in that way.”
Councillor Clarke, who has competed in three Commonwealth Games, says the Gold Coast is the ideal venue.
“The weather is just superb and if everything’s fair, and I was an athlete, this would be the best place on earth to run an event like this and the Gold Coast will be ready for it.”
The State Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek backs the Gold Coast bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games but wants to see the financial details.
Mr Langbroek says the Games would be a huge economic boost for the Coast and the state.
“It’s important that governments provide all sorts of resources, not just schools and hospitals,” he said.
“But it’s the Premier who’s been saying we need to privatise and sell off Queensland’s assets because of schools and hospitals.
“This is another matter some years away that the Premier has assured me and needs our support for it to be a successful bid that we can afford.
“So I’m looking forward to a costed business plan that we’re going to support.”
Australian Commonwealth Games Association head Sam Coffa says the Gold Coast has a good chance of hosting the 2018 event.
The main rival is expected to be the Nigerian city of Abuja.
Mr Coffa says Queensland has a good track record.
“Many of our Commonwealth colleagues fondly remember the people of Queensland who hosted the outstanding 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games and I am sure this will stand us in good stead with our 2018 bid,” he said.