Gympie leaders outline targets for Olympic Games bid
A long-spruiked high-speed train and a new multi-sport stadium are two assets Gympie’s political leaders believe should be on the cards for the city if the state’s bid to bring the 2032 Olympics to the southeast corner becomes reality.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett said the Games offered a “once-in-a-lifetime chance” that needed to be seized upon, and there were a range of ways the region could do so.
“We are situated within the catchment of whatever happens in the southeast corner,” Mr Perrett said.
“This is a golden opportunity to bring forward local infrastructure and transport services.
“We are connected more and more to the southeast with the upgrade of the Bruce Highway and fixing our train issues with a Very Fast Train makes sense.
“A VFT cements the desirability of hosting training opportunities, and for tourists to visit.
“It would be an easy hassle-free commute for spectators, competitors, visitors, and officials.”
The possibility of playing host to competing sporting teams needing to acclimatise before the event presented opportunities, too.
“A multi-use sports and event facility should be brought forward and be part of the mix,” Mr Perrett said.
“I am acutely aware that more sporting facilities are needed, which has been identified in the council’s Sporting and Recreation Plan.
“A purpose-built brand-new shooting facility which has been advocated for a long time could provide great opportunities for training and possibly host competitions.
“It is a natural fit for the region.”
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Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig said there were a number of possibilities being discussed for Gympie should the Games go ahead in Queensland.
“At this stage it would be premature to go into specifics, (but) I can confirm there are a number of conversations happening at the moment which are geared towards our region’s involvement should the Olympics come to somewhere like the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Hartwig said.
Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien said he would welcome the Games’ boost to Gympie’s tourism and hospitality sectors and believed the state government needed to ensure every corner of Queensland benefited, not just the southeast.
But he said the government needed to ensure it did not lose sight of its other commitments while focusing on the global event.
“Hosting the Olympics is an expensive exercise and it must not be done at the expense of important infrastructure projects in regional Queensland such as extending the Bruce Highway’s four lanes from Gympie to Maryborough, starting immediately with the four-lane Tiaro bypass,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Improving services at the hospital should also be a top priority for the state government so people can access the treatment they need in their own community instead of having to travel to the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane.”