Lord Mayor walks out of Olympic forum, slams door behind him

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has launched a missive at an inter-government Olympic forum, labelling it a ‘dysfunctional farce and a pointless talkfest’ as he resigned over stadium redevelopment plans.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner

“I will be resigning immediately from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum,” Lord Mayor Schrinner announced over the weekend.

“This week it became very apparent that the Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum is a dysfunctional farce, a pointless talkfest established to placate key stakeholders while all the real decisions are made by the state government behind closed doors.”

It’s the latest falling out between Queensland’s state and local governments, with Gold Coast City Council blaming the state for failing to support its attempt to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Final straw

The ‘final straw’ for Cr Schrinner is the state government’s plan, unveiled last week, to convert the Brisbane RNA showgrounds arena into a temporary replacement for the Gabba during its Games redevelopment, with Council expected to chip in towards the $137 million bill.

He described the plan as a “ham-fisted and foolish attempt to extort Brisbane ratepayers for tens of millions of dollars for a new RNA stadium”.

Cr Schrinner also said he will no longer support the separate $2.7 billion plan to demolish and rebuild the Brisbane Cricket Ground into a 50,000-seat Olympic stadium.

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.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner

“It’s clear that the Games have become more about over-priced stadiums rather than the promise of vital transport solutions,” he said.

He called for an independent body to be appointed to look at alternatives for the Gabba.

Cr Schrinner also slammed the state government’s decision to do away with the independent coordination authority that was meant to oversee infrastructure planning and delivery for the games, which are due to take place in 2032.

According to state government plans, the Gabba will be fully rebuilt “to provide an optimal fan experience though a design that incorporates better viewing angles, a broad range of food and beverage options, new range of premium products and digital advancements for a truly modern stadium experience”.

The design process is expected to occur between 2024 and 2026, with demolition to occur in 2025 and the stadium ready for use in 2030.

The Leader’s Forum including Federal, State and Council representatives was established earlier this year to work with the Brisbane 2032Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee (OCOG). 

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