Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown his support behind a potential bid by Queensland state to host the 2032 Olympics, saying the government “will be there every step of the way”.
The state capital Brisbane has been mulling whether it can justify the expense of hosting such a major event, and has carried out feasibility studies which impressed IOC chief Thomas Bach when he visited the city in May.
Morrison said he supported a bid after meeting Bach and Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates following the G20 summit in Osaka.
“A Brisbane Olympics has the potential to be a game-changer for southeast Queensland and my government will be there every step of the way,” he told reporters in Japan late Sunday.
“Just like in Sydney (which hosted the 2000 Olympics), a Queensland Olympics, led by Brisbane, would be an economic and job boom and would show off the entire state to the world,” he added.
With the next two Olympics in Europe and North America, the 2032 showpiece is expected to take place in the Asia-Pacific region.
So far Jakarta, which hosted the last Asian Games, has applied and Mumbai has expressed interest, while the IOC has also suggested a joint bid by the two Koreas.
During his recent visit to Australia, Bach said it was encouraging to see the interest given that 2024-host Paris and Los Angeles in 2028 were selected unopposed. A healthy slate of candidates for 2032 is seen as necessary to restore faith in the process.
Coates said in a statement Monday that Bach was open to the Games being hosted in several cities or regions, as opposed to just Brisbane.
“We have significant existing sports infrastructure across multiple locations in southeast Queensland,” he said.
The next steps would be the formation of a “Leadership Group”, completion of an economic feasibility study by the Queensland government and finalisation of a competition venue master-plan, he added.
The IOC is not due to select the host until 2025.