The Olympics brings both opportunity and responsibility to Queensland – specifically opportunity and responsibility to showcase what it is that Queensland businesses are capable of. The key will be to ensure that there is a clear plan prepared with the involvement of industry to benefit from this world-class event. By planning well ahead and hand in hand with industry, we can look for ways to repurpose initial investment in infrastructure, innovation/R&D and skills training well beyond the Games, creating enduring businesses and benefits for Queenslanders into the future. By turning our minds to what Queensland can produce and consume – not just for the Olympics but well after the athletes return home – we open the door to many domestic and international growth opportunities.
As with any large-scale event, building the right infrastructure is vital. Getting the best value from the investment required to host a successful Games means finding ways to leverage essential infrastructure that will provide the capacity for expansion post the Olympics – water, energy and housing are good examples. Proactivity in these areas will see Queensland well-placed for growth from both international and domestic migrants, even well before 2032. This opportunity is even larger as many people consider new places to live and work as they navigate life post a time of heavy COVID restrictions in other jurisdictions.
Enticing people to reside or do business in Queensland also requires dedication to reducing red tape and driving tax reform. The need for simplicity and support of business and employers has never been greater. Not using the Olympics and the economic benefits it can deliver as a catalyst to support business, provide meaningful tax reform and incentives to innovate would be an opportunity missed. Government has the opportunity to create momentum and confidence and we can be sure that business will keep it going. Jobs will be created and Queenslanders will be better off for generations to come. Achieving this could mean seeking Commonwealth involvement from an R&D/grants perspective, but the benefit to the Sunshine State would be significant.
The Olympics provide Queensland with a
captive global audience to tell its story. This is our opportunity to showcase the very best of Queensland – promote our regions, celebrate our natural wonders, highlight the generosity of our people and share the marvels of our heritage. This is our time to engage and incentivise Queensland businesses and make sure that the money we are spending results in solid foundations for future growth. It is important that we involve as many of our sectors and industries in the plan so that they are invested in a clear strategy to prosper before, during and for many years after the Games.