SURFERS PARADISE, (INSIDE THE GAMES) – Gold Coast 2018 has appointed a new chairman with former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie being appointed to replace Nigel Chamier to oversee preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
Beattie’s appointment was announced today at an event in Coolangatta to announce the venue for the beach volleyball attended by current Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.
Palaszczuk claimed that that Chamier, appointed by the previous Liberal National Party (LNP) Government, had resigned.
Palaszczuk, who represents Labor, was elected Premier in February 2015.
She denied that the appointment of 63-year-old Beattie, the Queensland Premier between 1998 and 2007, was just a political appointment and that she believed he could help promote the Games to leading businesses in Australia.
“People have often commented in the past that Peter Beattie could sell ice to eskimos but I need him to sell the Commonwealth Games to corporate Australia,” Palaszczuk said.
“He was the person who secured the Goodwill Games for us many years ago and I believe his experience and his attention to detail is exactly what is needed.
“His drive and enthusiasm is second to none and I am quite sure that he will be charming corporate Australia.”
Beattie is expected to be paid AUD$50,000 (£25,000/US$37,000/€32,000) a year for the position.
“Whether people love me or hate me, I absolutely love this State and I want the best for it,” Beattie said.
“And that’s why these Games which are…the biggest event in Australia this decade, is an opportunity which will not be missed.
“I look forward to working with the board, the Government and of course the council to deliver the best Games ever.
“All you’ve got to do is look around, this is paradise, this is paradise on earth, as close as you can possibly get,” he said.
“This is a jewel and all you have to do is just show people this, we have to show this to the world.
“The real challenge is that when 2018 is gone, people keep coming, keep coming and keep coming.”
Beattie is the third chairman since Gold Coast 2018 were awarded the Games in 2011.
Chamier, a businessman from Brisbane, had been appointed in May 2012 to replace former swimmer Mark Stockwell, who had overseen the successful campaign by Gold Coast 2018, who were awarded the Games ahead of its only rival Hambantota.
Stockwell had been appointed by Beattie’s predecessor as Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, but was sacked when she was replaced by Chamier by Campbell Newman after losing the election.
Former editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper, Bob Gordon, has also been appointed to the Board of the Organising Committee, officially known as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation.