A lord mayor has sensationally quit a planning committee for the 2032 Olympics, branding it as a ‘dysfunctional farce’ and ‘pointless talkfest’.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner didn’t hold back as he walked away from the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum, claiming it only being used to ‘placate key stakeholders while all the real decisions were made by the state government behind closed doors’.
He also took a parting shot at the Queensland government and accused them of using the forum as a fig-leaf to cover their dictatorial decisions as they ‘lose their way’.
‘The reality is, we always wanted to be team players, the state government wanted to play politics,’ Mr Schrinner said.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has quit a planning forum for the Olympics
‘We wanted to work together, the state government wanted to work in secret.’
‘This week it became very apparent that the Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum is a dysfunctional farce.’
It comes after the Annastacia Palaszczuk government announced the Brisbane Showgrounds would be redeveloped.
The new showgrounds stadium would be used by the AFL Brisbane Lions team and cricket’s Brisbane Heat while they were denied use of the Gabba during its $2.7billion four-year rebuild, but it only plans to pay a third of the cost.
Brisbane Council will be required to chip in $30 million, something Mr Schrinner said he only found out through media reports.
‘The state government’s ham-fisted and foolish attempt to extort Brisbane ratepayers for tens of millions of dollars for a new RNA stadium was the final straw,’ he said.
Mr Shrinner has called for a new independent authority ‘to fix up the mess the state government has created’.
‘Only an independent authority can get these things back on track. We don’t need overpriced stadiums, we need better transport. We don’t need politics being played,’ he said.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner unleashed on the state government as he stepped down from the forum. He’s pictured with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (second right) at a city reception for the Australian Matildas
Mr Schrinner claimed that the state government was making decisions unilaterally and pretending to consult others
The mayor claimed ‘people on the streets’ had told him they did not support the Gabba redevelopment, which included relocating East Brisbane State School.
‘I’ve been listening to the people of Brisbane,’ he said.
‘They are saying we need to do something other than the state government’s plan on the Gabba needs to be rethought.
He said the ‘government has completely lost its way on the road to the Games’
The Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum, which was set up by Deputy Premier Steven Miles earlier this year is made up of representatives from all levels and governments and other invested groups.
Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe accused Mr Schrinner of making backflips’.
‘It’s not very long ago he was standing up there supporting the ‘Gabba redevelopment and the opportunity of the whole precinct,’ Mr Hinchcliffe told the ABC.
‘He was out there calling for the RNA [showgrounds] as the solution for the displacement issues.’
Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured left) with Mr Schrinner in Japan where Brisbane was announced as the 2032 Olympics host
Mr Hinchliffe said council withdrawing the support would make it more difficult for the state government to deliver the Games.
‘While the city is contributing zero dollars to delivering the games, it seems that it is important that we do engage the city in solving the root problems that they can be part of solving,’ he said.
Mr Hinchliffe disputed Mr Schrinner’s claim that the state government previously said the budget for the Gabba development would cover the cost of a temporary venue.
‘There is no requirement for the state to deal with displacement. There is no contractual need to do that. We are making these offers in order to deliver the best outcome,’ Mr Hinchliffe said.