Monday, April 17, 2006

Victorians lose out in Bracks sports mania

Kenneth Davidson has a good piece in today's Age, showing how Steve Bracks has overhyped the economic benefits of events such as the Commonwealth Games, and the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Bracks has apparently claimed the economic benefit of 1.4 billion people around the world "watching" the games, and seeing the new Melbourne logo broadcast. As Davidson points out:

The Indian broadcaster paid $543,000 for the rights to the Games and the Canadian broadcaster was reluctant to pay anything. The Ten Network's payment of $400,000 to Douglas Wood for an exclusive interview about his experience as a hostage in Iraq puts in context the value of this access to the people of the Commonwealth.

Davidson also points to Steve Bracks having the wrong focus on projects:
The Games village violates fundamental planning principles in relation to equity, access and environment. The netball and hockey centre and the competition pool are likely to become white elephants that will either be a drain on taxpayers or sporting associations. [...] The Government's sporting priorities, which put major events first, training elite athletes second and community sport last, should be reversed. Attending to the health needs of the population, particularly the young, should be the first priority of municipal and state governments.

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