Hosting a Commonwealth Games could be just the shot in the arm the WA economy needs to help it diversify says Gold Coast 2018 Games Chairman Peter Beattie.
The 2022 games are currently up for grabs after the South African city of Durban was stripped of its right to host them earlier this month because of missed deadlines and financial problems.
England’s Liverpool and Birmingham have already expressed interest in hosting the 2022 games but Beattie, who is speaking at a CCI Lighthouse Leadership event on April 21, says Perth would be ideally placed to host it and he would be happy to offer advice.
“Perth is an ideal location, it’s got an international reputation as a city and it’s got a lot of infrastructure,” he says.
“It’s up to (Perth) obviously but what I do offer is if the State Government or the Lord Mayor of Perth wanted some advice about the economic benefits, how to work smart to reduce the costs, how to get the maximum out of a Commonwealth Games then we’re happy to provide that advice.
“We would bend over backwards in preparation of any submission they wanted to make.”
Beattie, a former Queensland Premier, says the Gold Coast is spending under $1.5 billion on the games but the economic benefits will be more than double that.
“Realistically it’s a real shot in the arm and WA is going through the same sort of thing that Queensland is in. It’s sort of post mining boom and we’re looking for things to drive the economy,” he says.
“There’s no doubt that the widening of the roads, the extension of light rail and the construction activity that’s associated with the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast has really led to an economic boom.
“That’s one of the reasons why you’ll see so much economic activity on the south east corner of Queensland which is driving the Queensland economy and outside of that it’s flat.”
Perth stadium perfect venue
Perth Stadium CEO Mike McKenna confirmed the new stadium had the capacity to host the Games in 2022.
“We’re here to host a wide range of sporting events and we can certainly manage Commonwealth Games as part of the design of the venue, but I’ll leave it to those who have to spend the money to decide whether it is the right time to attract that event,” he says.
“It would be straight after the Gold Coast Games, which means it is probably less likely than a different time, but yes the venue can host those events as well as things like athletics championships where you want to attract a world class event. This is the venue to do it.”
Perth last hosted the games in 1962.
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