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Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games Arrangements Bill

December 02, 2021

Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven-ALP) (Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef
and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (4.49 pm): I rise to support the Brisbane Olympic and
Paralympic Games Arrangements Bill 2021. In my first term as a member in this place, my community
on the Gold Coast played host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and my electorate of Gaven hosted
a number of those events, including the opening and closing ceremony at Metricon Stadium—a fantastic
asset built by a former Labor government; the athletics at Carrara Stadium; mountain biking in Nerang
National Park; as well as building and hosting athletes at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre,
which I recently visited with the Minister for Tourism where we now have an incredible exhibition that
holds the memories of all of the incredible moments during 2018.

The Commonwealth Games demonstrated what can be achieved in terms of infrastructure
delivery when all levels of government work together. Projects like the Gold Coast Light Rail stage 2,
the Coomera to Helensvale rail duplication and a number of road upgrades were delivered on time and
on budget and have provided a lasting legacy for the Gold Coast. I think the success of the
Commonwealth Games really does provide a blueprint for the opportunities that can be leveraged for
Brisbane and for the rest of Queensland through the 2032 Olympic games. It was interesting to hear
some of the comments of those opposite who are patting themselves on the back about the
Commonwealth Games. It was a Labor government that bid for the Commonwealth Games. We
delivered it. Those opposite sought legal advice to scrap the games altogether and to move it away
from the Gold Coast.

As Queensland’s environment minister, I am very proud of our commitment to deliver a climate
positive games. Our unique and pristine natural environment, including our magnificent coastline, the
Great Barrier Reef and the virtually unmatched biodiversity, brings hundreds and thousands of tourists
to Queensland every year. A commitment to protect our environment will be central to the 2032 games.
For the very first time this Olympic Games will be delivered as a climate positive event. That means that
emissions reductions greater than the emissions from the games need to occur. In the same way that
we saw a collective goal and time line drive the delivery of infrastructure on the Gold Coast, the
Olympics will have the same impact on progress towards emissions reduction and increased renewable
energy.

To achieve climate positive carbon management strategies we will be guided by four key
principles: minimising the games footprint as much as possible before compensating more than 100 per
cent of residual emissions; continuously improving emissions forecasting and measurements to support
evidence based decision-making; ensuring consistency and transparency across the event lifecycle to
promote accountability; and influencing to create change and deliver verifiable climate positive
outcomes for Queensland and Australia, including by promoting shared responsibility. As part of this
approach Brisbane 2032 is now working in partnership with the IOC to develop and refine carbon
budgets and climate positive strategies for the games that will guide all of our decision-making.

Additionally, reducing waste and growing recycling will be central to our planning for the games.
We are looking at a range of options, including reducing emissions by maximising the use of preplanned or temporary infrastructure; all new infrastructure projects or significant upgrades to existing
venues will require six-star (world leadership) green star for buildings ratings from the Green Building
Council of Australia; all existing venues will be audited for energy efficiency and on-site renewable
energy retrofit; capital programs will target zero net waste and 100 per cent renewable energy electricity
and fuel use; games infrastructure will incorporate technologies that support low carbon operations, for
example electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and reducing upfront resource consumption and
maximising re-use. We will also be targeting 90 per cent public and active transport to venues during
the games.

These principles will also drive opportunities for Queensland businesses. There will be millions
of dollars worth of contracts across all facets of our economy. I know our government is committed to
seeing as many as those contracts go to Queensland businesses as possible. We are keen to work
with local businesses to improve their environmental and social governance and sustainability
credentials to get them procurement ready for the games. I had a great conversation with the CCIQ
yesterday around how we can continue to grow our ecoBiz program.

It was interesting listening to the member for Bonney reiterate his tired talking points on the
environment. I acknowledge that as a member of the LNP the member for Bonney has very little
opportunity to talk about the environment. In fact, he cannot talk about climate change because those
opposite get freaked out about the word. The member likes to sledge us on our targets, but at least we
actually have the fortitude to set them.

The LNP went to the last election refusing to commit to an emissions reduction target and said
they were going to scrap our renewable energy target. In stark contrast, we have seen more than 40
large-scale renewable energy projects constructed under our government compared to zero for three
years under those opposite. I look forward to hearing an update from the member for Bonney, if he is
ever successful at getting his own party room to even believe in climate change, never mind actually
take action. Then we heard some interesting comments about waste.

Let us not forget that those opposite made Queensland the dumping ground of Australia. They
crippled our recycling and resource recovery industry. Not only did they fail to increase recycling, they
actually went backwards. Commercial and industrial recovery rates fell. Construction and demolition
recovery rates fell by six per cent. It is only through this government’s measures that we have seen
recycling grow enormously in both C&I and C&D. In fact, we are actually very close to achieving the
Newman government’s own 2024 waste targets, which I am sure they will be pleased to hear. I am not
sure how they were going to reach them.

We are very passionate about reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill and increasing
the amount of resource recovery we have in this state. We have a number of programs that I do not
have time to go through. We are also carrying out a review of the waste levy right now. The member
for Bonney talked about the CommSec report. The CommSec report was actually funded by this
government. To use that as some proof point about our government’s inaction is ridiculous when one
considers the fact that we are very open about the fact that more needs to be done and will be. Given
the member’s new-found passion for protected areas, I look forward to his full-throated defence of our
tree clearing laws, but I suspect I will be waiting for a while. The bill sets the foundation for the next
decade to drive our state towards the biggest event in history. We have a unique opportunity to ensure
that the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games delivers for jobs, infrastructure and our environment. I
commend the bill to the House.