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Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Page: 1480


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (12:50): Queensland's bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games presents a major opportunity. It is something the whole state could benefit from—metropolitan, regional and rural Queensland alike. We could have clay-target shooting in Roma and equestrian events on the Downs. It would not be the 2032 Summer Olympic Games in Brisbane, it would be the 2032 Summer Olympic Games in Queensland. We should not forget what the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney actually did for Queensland. Even across the border, Queensland benefited from tens of millions of dollars spent by visiting teams. A government report found that 179 teams, comprising over 2,500 athletes from 48 countries, trained in Queensland, in places like Cairns, Bundy, Rocky, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, to name but a few. The Summer Olympic Games will provide enormous opportunities for Queensland and Queenslanders.

Queensland is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. We are world famous in this regard. We are also home to Surf Life Saving Queensland, one of the largest volunteer based community service organisations in Australia, with some 58 affiliated clubs in Queensland. From humble beginnings when the first recorded rescue at a Queensland beach was made in 1909, Surf Life Saving Queensland now services around 30,000 members. Surf Life Saving Queensland includes supporters' clubs and a range of programs that involve more than 460,000 participants. Surf Life Saving Queensland is the bedrock of Queensland's coastal community. Madam Acting Deputy President, our bid for the Olympic Games, I believe, should include surf-lifesaving. Earlier this month, I visited the Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club, where I met with the president of Surf Life Saving Queensland, Mr Mark Fife OAM, to discuss the proposal. He is very supportive. It shouldn't be called ironman or ironwoman but oceanman and oceanwoman. It would include swim, ski and board, with runs between each leg. Of course, the distances between each leg would depend on the conditions of the surf on the day. Just as the triathlon made its debut at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, oceanman and oceanwoman could be demonstrated on the Gold Coast at the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

The International Life Saving Federation already exists. It organises the biannual Lifesaving World Championships, which brings together around 4,000 to 5,000 competitors and officials from around the world. Last year, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, International Life Saving Federation president Graham Ford and Surf Life Saving Queensland's Kris Beavis signed an agreement to hold the 2024 Lifesaving World Championships on the Gold Coast—a brilliant, brilliant project.

If Queensland can do it in 2024, we'll be able to do it again as part of the 2032 Summer Olympic Games. Not only do I believe that this initiative will strengthen the bid, I believe it also will strengthen the likelihood of Queensland getting the bid. I'll be writing to the federal Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator Colbeck, and the state shadow minister for sport, John-Paul Langbroek, seeking their support for oceanman and oceanwoman to be part of the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

In closing, I'd like to thank the federal government for supporting the 2032 Summer Olympic Games bid. I know that my Sunshine Coast colleague the member for Fairfax, Ted O'Brien, has been working very hard, as well as the former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk, and many others, to make this happen. Let's showcase Queensland's beautiful beaches, let's celebrate the great work that our bronzed Aussie lifesavers do to save lives, and let's include oceanman and oceanwoman in the Olympic Games.