Urgent call for Olympic infrastructure funding to be re-directed

Artist's Impression of Sunshine Coast Arts & Convention Centre Plaza

Over $100 million in Olympic infrastructure funding, allocated to a basketball stadium at Kawana, needs to be urgently re-directed into a multi-purpose facility that will benefit the wider community and be able to host a multitude of different types of events, says former Mayor.

Alison Barry-Jones

Alison Barry-Jones, Chair of the Sunshine Coast Arts, Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Association, says that the Sunshine Coast community overwhelmingly wants an indoor multi-purpose entertainment facility that can cater for music events, theatre, a variety of Olympic sports, as well as commercial enterprise. “Conventions and exhibitions make a facility like this viable and are an important component within the overall design, they provide long-term financial, tourism and employment benefits and leave a legacy for our community”, she said. “A basketball stadium at Kawana, while it can be used 10% of the time, doesn’t provide economic opportunities for the region.”

Sadly, there has been no community consultation on the current proposal for Kawana. We believe funds in the longer term are better spent on hosting a broader range of Olympic training facilities, not simply basketball. An iconic regional project will be a functional wealth-creating community asset. It will produce immediate and long-term employment for the residents across a vast range of industries and creative positive aspirations for our youth.

Three million dollars of Government feasibility studies over 27 years recommend the importance of constructing this vital community infrastructure. The Sunshine Coast RDA region, from Noosa to Moreton Bay, has a population nudging up to one million and our capital city of Maroochydore has no enclosed plenary meeting facility for large community events.

Sunshine Coast Council already owns the land for the multi-purpose entertainment centre. The financial contribution from three tiers of government, including the Olympic legacy funding, could go towards construction expenses. Generous benefactors have already committed $10 million along with venture partners who will commit to constructing an international hotel.

“An urgent review is required as to what underpins and drives a successful well-rounded economy. We suggest a region brought together by showcasing Arts, Sport, Convention, Exhibitions, and Entertainment events will reinvigorate the community’s sense of well-being and be the economic driver we desperately need”, Alison said. “These types of events inspire excellence and prevent the ‘talent drain’ of our young people moving elsewhere to further their careers – be they sporting, cultural or otherwise”, she added.

“Being equipped to host a wide variety of national and international events will embellish our citizens with a sense of pride and place fulfilling the moral obligations of the Olympic Legacy Oath”.

Artist’s Impression of Sunshine Coast Arts & Convention Centre Foyer



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