Commonwealth Games chair Peter Beattie pitches Gold Coast 2018 as a template for future Games. Photo: Tony Moore Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg. Photo: Tony Moore
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The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 was the chance to set the template for Games to come, incoming chair Peter Beattie told a media conference on the Gold Coast on Friday.

The former Queensland premier was the surprise announcement as new chair of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee on Wednesday.

He replaced Nigel Chamier, noted for driving the restoration of the badly run-down Brisbane City Hall.

In Friday’s “report card” of planning schedules for the ‘Games in April 2018, it was revealed that Mr Chamier had overseen a construction phase that was “on budget” and “on time”.

However Mr Beattie’s ability to present the bigger picture of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was quickly on show.

“One of the things that I’ve found most interesting was the legacy issues,” Mr Beattie said.

“Where do the Commonwealth Games go from here?”

Success on the Gold Coast in 2018 meant success for the next Commonwealth Games in Durban.

Mr Beattie said a longer-term goal: aside from meeting budgets, meeting construction deadlines and the sports event itself, was ensuring a “long-term niche” for the Commonwealth Games.

“Because every athlete wants to know that there is going to be ongoing Commonwealth Games.”

Bruce Robertson, the chairman of the co-ordination commission monitoring the Games planning, defended the decision to replace Mr Shamier with Mr Beattie, GOLDOC’s third chairman in as many years.

“You have different skill sets at different points in time,” Mr Robertson said.

He said Mr Chamier had overseen the earlier construction and “set-up” phases.

“Whereas Peter’s skill set looks more towards the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.”

Mr Beattie said the countdown to the Gold Coast really began after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“And that’s when we have to engage the rest of Australia; Sydney, Melbourne and the rest of Australia,” he said.

“And that’s one of the things I can do.”

On Friday, at GOLDOC’s headquarters at Benowa on the Gold Coast, the fifth “report card” on Games planning was presented.

However the actual report is not available to journalists until it is uploaded to GOLDOC’s website in a week.

Mr Robertson summarised the findings two years out from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Construction of venues is “on track and on budget”, marketing and sponsorship was ahead of the progress made in the preparation of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The location of 15 park and rides, to be established on a mix of state government and Gold Coast City Council land, will be finalised in six months and announced.

Meanwhile, David Grevemberg, the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive officer – and former Glasgow Games CEO – praised the Gold Coast Games decision to promote Indigenous reconciliation.

“Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is establishing an Indigenous Reconciliation Plan as part of the Commonwealth Games plan,” he said.

“For the first time in an Australian (Games) event, a reconciliation action plan has been developed,” he said.

Mr Grevemberg said that would guide the involvement of Indigenous people in Australia into the Games in 2018.

“From the Commonwealth Games Federation point of view, we feel this is a real distinguishing factor.

“It is an amazing, amazing opportunity, not only across Australia, but across the Commonwealth and the globe.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.