Brisbane 2032: the Olympic Games return to Australia

Infrastructure and sustainability: Queensland’s capital starts to get ready for the 2032 Summer Olympics

The Tokyo Games ended just a few weeks ago, and it’s already time to start to plan for the next Olympics. Brisbane, the city chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2032 Summer Games, is now doing just that. 

Australia will be home to the world’s largest sporting for the third time after the capital city of Queensland invested six years of work and diplomatic mediation.

“Our purpose was to seek an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region and for our city,” said the Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner.

That opportunity — according to the city administration’s calculations — will guarantee a boost to Queensland’s economy of $8.1 billion and $17.6 billion, for Australia as a whole. The federal and local governments, meanwhile, will have to invest at least $5 billion to prepare Brisbane to host the Games.

Brisbane Olympics: The sustainable Games

In meeting the demands of the International Olympic Committee, Australia won the competition over other major countries such as Germany by being more convincing on one key point: sustainability. A central part of the proposal submitted to the IOC was based on sustainable projects designed to minimise harmful emissions of the 2032 Games

“Right from the beginning we wanted this to be a sustainable Games,” Schrinner said. “We wanted to commit and … we would be the first host city to contractually agree to a climate-positive Games.”  

In fact, it is no coincidence that the Queensland government has set 2030 as the deadline for achieving 50% coverage of energy needs through renewable sources. In view of the Brisbane Olympics 2032, sustainability thus remains a key theme in the state’s development policies – be it through mobility or in energy production and distribution.

Innovative infrastructure to prepare Brisbane for the Olympics

According to the organisers’ plans, infrastructure will take the lion’s share of investments, with a particular focus on sustainable mobility — one of the key tools to make a sustainable and modern city.

“The Australian and Queensland governments are fully funding the infrastructure projects to be delivered in preparation for the Games, ensuring that they deliver for Brisbane 2032, but also leave a lasting legacy,” said Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison

In terms of mobility, a new underground subway station will be built on Roma Street, serving the Roma Street Cross River Rail subway line. It will bring future spectators directly into the Brisbane Arena, an indoor stadium capable of accommodating 17,000 people. 

Part of the infrastructure spending will then be invested in the construction of new stadiums or the expansion of existing ones. AU$1 billion will be spent to upgrade the current cricket stadium (Woolloongabba Stadium), which will become the Brisbane Olympic Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will be held in front of a live audience of 50,000 people. In addition to this, a second stadium will be built and the Brisbane Arena will be expanded

The Olympic Village, meanwhile, will be built in Northshore Hamilton, 6 kilometres (3.72 miles) away from the city center, and where 14,000 beds will be set up for the teams of the various national teams.

In general, 80% of the facilities that will host the competitions are already existing, but will need to be upgraded and expanded.

Brisbane Olympics 2032:investment and impact on the city

Brisbane’s race towards the Olympics has already begun. After struggling through the difficult months of Covid-19, Brisbane and Queensland have implemented an infrastructure spending plan designed to boost the economy of the city and the state.

Over the next four years, the state has planned investments of AU$23 billion to modernise the road network. Overall, the infrastructure plan approved by the Queensland government calls for spending of AU$51.8 billion in the next four years, to be invested in the short and medium term on major projects such as the Cross River Rail and the Brisbane Metro. These are major works for sustainable mobility, that will support the growth and development of the city.

Specifically for the 2032 Olympic Games, projects are in the works that will change the face of Brisbane. But the construction sites will only get up and running during the second half of this decade. According to a report carried out by KPMG and commissioned by the Queensland government, between 2027 and 2030 between $800 million and $1.1 billion dollars will be invested each year in the city.

These investments in works will also create work. In fact, the city administration calculates that the preparatory phase and the Games themselves will help create 130,000 jobs.