SYDNEY: Brisbane’s lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said today that he would resign from an infrastructure delivery body for the 2032 Olympics in the Australian city, criticising plans to rebuild its famed Gabba cricket ground for the games.
“I will be resigning immediately from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum,” Schrinner said in a statement. “I will no longer fall into line and support the state government’s current Gabba plan.”
The Queensland government has pledged to rebuild the stadium for A$2.7 billion for the games. The state already has 80% of the venues needed for the games, with the infrastructure expected to stay useful long after the event.
However, concerns have been raised that the rebuild of the Gabba – a 128-year-old sports ground that traditionally hosts the first cricket test of each Australian summer – could exceed the budget and blow out the Olympics’ carbon footprint.
Schrinner said the forum, which includes the Queensland and federal governments, mayors, and the games’ organising committee’s chief executive officer was a “dysfunctional farce”, with “real decisions” made by the state government.
A Queensland government spokesman said it was difficult to understand how Schrinner could “go from being emphatically for something one day to emphatically against (it) the next”.
“The door remains open anytime he wants to return,” the spokesman said in a statement.
Brisbane will become the third Australian city to host the Summer Olympics, after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
Schrinner’s resignation comes after International Olympic Committee’s vice-president John Coates said last week that athlete numbers at the games must be reduced to help ensure they are cost-effective.
With cricket, flag football, squash, baseball, and softball being added in Los Angeles in 2028, participation numbers will climb beyond 11,000 for those games, but Coates wants that figure reduced when Brisbane hosts the event four years later.