A Greens-led Brisbane City Council would refuse to support the 2032 Olympics if the state government insists on spending $3 billion knocking down and rebuilding the Gabba to serve as the major athletics venue.
Both Labor and the LNP say they support a Gabba Olympics and the demolition of East Brisbane State School, even though the Gabba was not part of the original venue plan submitted to the IOC for Brisbane’s Olympics bid.
The State Government previously promised it would build a new school at Coorparoo, but recently confirmed that it will simply repurpose existing 1970s buildings. Queensland Labor has also confirmed that the displacement of East Brisbane State School students would require the relocation of the existing School of Distance Education, which is currently headquartered at Coorparoo, and the compulsory acquisition of an elderly pensioner’s home.
Mayoral candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan said that considering the challenges of completely rebuilding the Gabba in a constrained high-density neighbourhood, and the significant impacts to three public schools, the State Government needed to look again at other options.
The Greens this week are announcing midwife Kath Angus as their candidate for Coorparoo ward - currently held by the LNP - which will be a key battleground in the council campaign. Coorparoo ward lies right in the centre of the Greens-held federal electorate of Griffith, and is ground zero for concerns about the housing crisis, with rental households comprising approximately 48% of the electorate.
Based on 2020 council results, the Greens would only need to swing 1300 votes to win Coorparoo ward from the LNP, after outpolling Labor in 2020, however local support for the Greens has grown significantly in the past 3 years, in part due to their opposition to the Gabba stadium demolition and the displacement of East Brisbane SS.
A parent of students at East Brisbane State School, Kath Angus has been an outspoken critic of the Olympics’ impacts on her community.
Quotes attributable to Kath Angus, Greens candidate for Coorparoo Ward
“The Labor state government and LNP-dominated Brisbane City Council are working hand-in-hand to knock down East Brisbane State School and rip up Raymond Park.”
“The major parties are tearing our community apart to make way for their Olympics and are more interested in a vanity project than caring for our school kids.
“Residents deserve so much more from the council than they are getting right now - budget cuts, services being slashed, congested streets, and handouts to wealthy property developers.”
“I’m fighting for a city that puts local families first, not property developers and investment funds.”
Quotes attributable to Jonathan Sriranganathan, Greens nominee for mayor of Brisbane
“The Gabba knock-down and rebuild might make some big developers and construction firms rich, but it’s a deplorable waste of money and a bad deal for our city. A Greens-led Council wouldn’t support it.
“Cricket has now been confirmed as an Olympic sport, so they’re going to waste billions rebuilding the Gabba cricket stadium to host athletics, spend more money bringing some other venue up to standard to host Olympic cricket, and then even more money on a replacement venue for the AFL - it’s ridiculous!”
“With the Paris Olympics demonstrating that we don’t even need to host opening and closing ceremonies in a traditional athletics stadium, you have to wonder whether $3 billion of public funds couldn’t be better spent on public housing and public transport improvements.”
“If South-East Queensland has a shortage of construction workers, we should focus on building more public housing rather than knocking down a stadium and a primary school just so we can build a new, differently-shaped stadium.”