Townsville City Council is actively pursuing opportunities to secure a lasting legacy for the region from the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Council has endorsed the Townsville 2032 Legacy Action Plan that will guide opportunities to maximise benefit for the city and region leading up to and long after the Games.
Mayor Jenny Hill said the success of the first Working Group meeting, formed with a mix of both public and private stakeholders, was a step in the right direction. The working group establishes the framework enabling promotion of Townsville as the sporting capital of the north, along with the wider region.
“A Games for all Queensland means just that, so Townsville will be working to get its fair share,” Cr Hill said.
“The group seeks to maximise the benefit of the XXXV Olympiad for the Townsville community, tourism operators, sporting organisations, and local businesses contributing to a “A Games for all Queensland,” Cr Hill said.
The Working Group will provide recommendations for Council’s consideration which will then form the basis for discussion with the 2032 Olympic Organising Committee for Queensland.
“The Townsville 2032 Legacy Working Group focuses on local opportunities to attract sporting events and pre-Games training camps to promote our region and open new tourism, trade and investment opportunities to a global market,” Cr Hill said.
“Investment in accessible sporting infrastructure and the exposure and activation of our region in the lead up to 2032 will ensure the Games benefit all Queenslanders, not just those in the Southeast.”
Councillor Suzy Batkovic, three-time Olympian and Chair of the Townsville 2032 Legacy working group, said the action plan will assist in identifying key areas where the city can capitalise.
“This is about pursuing tangible and in-tangible opportunities in our community leading to long-term outcomes for the city and providing our kids with the infrastructure to support big goals and big dreams,” said Cr Batkovic.
“We have amazing local kids and, if they set their mind to it, they can compete in Brisbane 2032.
“It is important that we provide the ability for young people to train in their hometown or region and gain broader social and economic skill sets needed to support their development as professional athletes.”
Providing the required high performance and development facilities will create opportunities for North Queenslanders to stay in the region and excel in their chosen field, rather than having to give up their dreams or move to the Southeast corner.
Cr Batkovic said working in partnership with the community and sporting groups is an important part of the process and, as planning progresses, there will be opportunities for community members to have their say.
“One of the first focus areas for the working group is the development of a Sporting infrastructure Delivery Strategy and Implementation Priority Plan that considers opportunities to accelerate longer-term projects and refurbish existing facilities to a higher standard,” Cr Batkovic said.
“Council’s long-term goal is to become a city that supports elite athletes and coaches through high performance sports centres, so we want to create pathways for success in addition to advocating for investment in elite sporting infrastructure in Townsville.
“We are working to establish full oversight on what we currently have, as well as what work is needed to meet the required standard to host and support elite sports.
The Games are expected to deliver economic and social benefits across Queensland with more than $8 billion in benefits predicted.