The peak environmental group for South East Queensland is urgently calling on all levels of government to establish a Green Olympics Legacy Driver (GOLD) Plan, saying that at least a decade of action is needed to create real change.
The Chair of Healthy Land & Water and former Queensland Natural Resources Minister, Stephen Robertson, will take to the stage at the Great Eastern Ranges conference in Brisbane today, using the platform to loudly call on all levels of government to come together and take immediate action, given a key selling point of our bid was for a ‘green’ games.
“10 years might seem like a long way away – but resilience and sustainability take time to build – so we need to start now if we are going to create a genuine green Olympics legacy,” Mr Robertson says.
“We need to make sure investment happens in the right place to create genuine, sustainable change.
“Once the plan is agreed upon by all levels of Government, it will be central to empowering local communities across the region to deliver on-ground actions which contribute to the success of the region.”
Mr Robertson says the early talk of reusing and repurposing existing venues and transport has been a good start, but the conversation needs to broaden quickly to environmental resilience and sustainability if we are to have any chance of creating a genuine environmental legacy for the region from the games.
“The clock is ticking. There is a need to quickly switch up a couple of gears to drive increased action to counter the impacts of escalating population and climate change on the beautiful environs of South East Queensland,” says Mr Robertson.
“When the eyes of the world are upon us, we don’t want to risk being tokenistic about our green claims.
“Currently, 70,000 community members across SEQ volunteer their time in organisations such as Landcare, Bushcare Catchment and Coast care groups.
“Part of the investment from a dedicated SEQ Natural Asset Fund should be allocated to this critical sector to build their numbers and demonstrate to the world what an army of dedicated, motivated and resourced volunteers can make to enhance the beauty and sustainability of the places in which they live. Creating a volunteer army for the Olympics need not wait for 2032 – it can start now with the will, vision and plan for a truly Green Games.
“Our region has a unique opportunity to showcase how sustainability and resilience to disasters and climate change can be the centrepieces of making a region a great place to live, work, visit and play,” he says.
Mr Robertson says that if we come together to formulate a plan now, South East Queensland is in a good place to position SEQ as a world leader in resilient, sustainable, liveable region-making.