ANNA Bligh is backing a Gold Coast bid for the 2018 Games.
ANNA Bligh is backing a Gold Coast bid for the 2018 Games.

Bligh puts in bid for Coast to host games

PREMIER Anna Bligh said Queensland will have to work hard to secure the 2018 Commonwealth Games despite its only rival failing to make a pitch in India.

Ms Bligh has just returned from New Delhi, where she made a formal presentation aimed at convincing Games officials to stage the 2018 event on the Gold Coast.

On Tuesday, she told parliament that games officials were impressed with Queensland's presentation.

But she said rival Sri Lanka's failure to make a similar pitch didn't mean the Gold Coast was a sure thing.

Sri Lanka has not formally withdrawn from the race.

Ms Bligh said it was disappointing there'd been no rival presentation.

“I have to say that was disappointing, not only to the Commonwealth delegates but to our bid team, because we were keen to see what the competition was like and what it had in its back pocket,” she told parliament.

She said it would be a 15-month marathon for the Gold Coast to secure the event.

“Delegates were impressed with our presentation, not the least of which included a moving video message from the Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke, who everyone here knows is a Commonwealth and Olympic games legend,” she said.

“Mayor Clarke, considering his international reputation and profile, and the respect he is afforded throughout Commonwealth countries as a result, could be fairly described as our secret weapon.

“We're off to a flying race.”

If the Gold Coast wins the bid the 12-day event is expected to stimulate visitor and economic activity in the area considerably.

It will be the biggest sporting event the Gold Coast's has ever had and could potentially create 30,000 jobs in the lead up and during the 2018 event.

During the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games over two million visitors attended the event.

In speculating the Gold Coast is successful in the bid, the area will attract 6000 athletes, and over two million visitors.

Support infrastructure currently in the pipeline for the Gold Coast includes a new velodrome, an upgrade of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, temporary conversions of existing non-sporting facilities for use and construction of an Athletes Village.

A host city will be chosen for the 2018 Games on November 11.



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