MUCH has been written about the economic impact the 2018 Commonwealth Games will have on the Gold Coast, but there has also been conjecture over budgets, infrastructure costs and jobs creation. Commonwealth Games chair Mark Stockwell (pictured) sets the record straight.
A report (Midwood) recently estimated the Games will cost in the vicinity of $3 billion. Do you agree with that figure?
There appears to be little basis for that estimate. The Games cost is clearly set out in the Bid Book and has been endorsed by the Commonwealth Games Federation Evaluation Commission (estimated cost $2b).
Will the Gold Coast get real value for money out of this investment?
Yes. All the facilities have been planned in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) to meet long-term community needs with no ‘white elephants’.
What are the most expensive projects that will have to be undertaken to make the city Games ready?
Facility upgrades, new facilities and transport infrastructure upgrades.
It is estimated 15,000 jobs will be created in the lead up to the Games. When will the jobs be available?
Employment within the Organising Corporation (OC) will begin in 2012. The majority of employment opportunities will start 2014-15 when major infrastructure works begin and Games employment increases significantly.
What will happen to the Games Village on completion of the event?
The Parklands site has been for some time designated for the economically significant Health and Knowledge precinct. This planned development endorsed by the State Government and GCCC would have proceeded if we were not successful with our Games bid. The Health and Knowledge precinct will see the creation of accommodation and business servicing opportunities for the University and hospital. The Games Village fits in to the accommodation master plan.
What will be the lasting benefits of the Games?
• Great sporting facilities – a legacy for the community into the future.
• The Games will produce a positive impact for the Gold Coast through the injection of new money into the economy from external sources, infrastructure development and community programs.
• Awareness of the Gold Coast and SEQ with a positive effect on views of the region which will be a catalyst for changing commercial attitudes through communicating a sense of confidence in the region, highlighting productive capacities and strengths.
• The Games will expose and promote the Gold Coast region to national and international audiences as a sporting/events destination to complement the marketing of the region as a tourism destination.
• They will generate a sense of pride in the city, create the opportunity for stronger, safer communities and the strengthening of social inclusion in our multi cultural society.
• The Games will be an inspiration to younger athletes and contribute to the community’s involvement in physical activity and sport which will have an effect on preventative health and overall health costs.
• To meet the demand there will be employment, skill development, work experience and learning opportunities across the Gold Coast community for all ages.