Why fast rail may finally become a reality in SEQ
THE desperate need for new roads and fast rail were the catalyst for the Queensland Olympics bid and must be the first priority for what it delivers, the group of southeast mayors who mooted the Games proposal say.
SEQ Council of Mayors chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Games would transform Queensland but it needed to include infrastructure to keep the southeast from gridlock.
"We know we have a strong case to present to the International Olympic Committee. A compact and innovative South East Queensland Games proposal that will drive widespread tourism, economic and community benefits to all of Queensland and Australia.
"Our only weakness is the lack of a fast, reliable and sustainable public transport network for southeast Queensland to support the region's growing population.
"With the International Olympic Committee promising to boost its financial commitment to a 2032 Games, public investment should go towards creating a genuine lasting legacy in the form of roads and transport."
Operating with its current public transport, the southeast would have a load of 75 per cent added to present passenger numbers during an Olympics, the council of mayors warned.
The mayors, who first raised the Olympics as a way of fast-tracking infrastructure across the region in a February report released exclusively to The Courier-Mail, said that compared to less than 20 per cent extra load in Rio and London.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the report found the Games would not work without infrastructure. "The key finding … was pretty straight forward - a SEQ Games could be successful if we get our transport infrastructure right first.
"We started this journey with one simple promise - that a Games bid can only proceed if it will demonstrably deliver a more liveable region for our residents, with better transport connectivity and a strong economic, cultural and social legacy."
Tourism bosses, including The Star Entertainment Group operations director Geoff Hogg, have warned visitors need to be able to get around the southeast easily.
"Connectivity for tourists and a growing population are critical to Queensland's future," Mr Hogg said.
"Our existing transport network is under pressure, I don't think too many people would disagree.
"Whether it's road or rail, or public transport in general, we need to be ready to move more and more people seamlessly around our cities and across the state to regional centres.
"Our infrastructure needs further investment and to a certain extent Queensland has been a victim of its own success.
"The state has positive net migration, drawing people from other parts of Australia to make their homes in Queensland, and tourism remains a key economic pillar."