Now that Brisbane has won the 2032 Olympics we need to avoid the Winner’s Curse and do our best to deliver it cost-effectively while maximising the benefits and spreading them across Queensland, so the Olympics doesn’t only benefit the promoters, developers, PR people, engineers, and consultants in SEQ. Taxpayers across Queensland will end up paying for the Olympics, and they all arguably deserve a fair share of the benefits. Hence, I’m happy to support Townsville economist Colin Dwyer’s petition to the Queensland Parliament, which is designed to get a “Better Olympics deal for regional Queensland” as Colin puts it. In his email update to his mailing list today Colin wrote:
The petition to get a better deal for regional Queensland from the Brisbane Olympics has performed beyond expectations, collecting almost one thousand signatures after just three weeks. We want a regional facility audit, a significant regional fund, a guarantee on protects, skills and population retention and a seat on the Brisbane Olympics decision making Board…
The ‘Better Deal for regional Queensland” petition ends in late September. We love the Olympics but Regional Queenslanders need a better deal including a water tight guarantee on projects and completions, an audit of current and future required facilities including a maintenance audit, we need to agree to terms on skilled worker and population retention. Regional Queensland would also like a fund to BUILD OUR BASICS and a seat on any Olympics Board; so we can keep the decision makers honest.
I’m a big fan of keeping the decision makers honest, so good luck getting those signatures Colin!
Another petition I’ve supported recently is the Restore Democracy in Queensland petition organised by Queensland MP for Mirani Steve Andrew (One Nation) who rightly opposed the extension of CHO Jeannette Young’s extraordinary emergency powers earlier this year, as I did (see Qld CHO emergency powers extension bill submission). The Government now proposes to extend the CHO’s emergency powers for an even longer period. The preamble for the petition reads:
Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that the Public Health and Other Legislation (Further Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill, tabled 16 June 2021, will extend Queensland’s ‘State of Emergency’ powers and measures into a third year. There needs to be a public discussion on the great danger posed to Queensland’s democracy by all these rolling emergency powers, lockdowns and abrogation of citizens’ rights. Powers granted under emergency legislation are supposed to be exceptional and time-limited. After 18 months, there is no justifiable reason why the Government can’t legislate for more reduced powers that allow Government to deal with the situation at hand while restoring many of the State’s normal democratic processes.
I totally agree with that and would encourage fellow Queenslanders to sign this important petition.
Nationwide, it’s frightening how readily we’ve accepted authoritarian measures to deal with COVID-19. I accept COVID-19 is a serious disease, but, when we have chief medical officers telling us to ignore our neighbours at the supermarket, various experts calling for harder lockdowns and curfews, and one TV journalist suggesting the army should go into South West Sydney and forcibly vaccinate people, we have to ask what on earth has happened to Australia? We need to find a way of responding to the COVID threat without sacrificing our basic freedoms.
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