Brisbane 2032 Warrants A New Aquatics Centre Writes Olympian And Developer Mark Stockwell

Artists impression of Brisbane's 2032 Olympic swimming venue.

Brisbane 2032 Warrants A New Aquatics Centre Writes Olympian And Developer Mark Stockwell

Highly respected and decorated Australian Olympic swimmer and successful property developer and fundraiser Mark Stockwell has kick-started a serious push for Brisbane to have a world class Aquatics Centre as a lasting centre piece of his city’s 2032 Games.

Plans at the moment are for the host city of Australia’s third Olympic Games to construct a temporary pool – leaving no legacy for future generations in the Queensland capital – arguably the swimming capital of the world.

Stockwell wants Brisbane to build a much-needed new Aquatic Centre, saying in an open letter in Queensland’s newspaper The Courier Mail –– “If you are serious about broadening the economic base of Queensland through event tourism, serious about the health of this nation and serious about creating events so kids can see the pathway in their pool sports, you build the 10,000-seat Aquatics Centre.

Mark Stockwell

Mark Stockwell. Photo Courtesy The Australian

“Let’s put money into that whole participation-inspiration-activity business with the vision of a new Brisbane Aquatics Centre. The multiplier is huge in so many ways.

“Swimming is Australia’s number one participation sport (and Australia’s most successful Olympic sport).

“From Noosa to Coolangatta there are more Olympic, Paralympic and World championship medallists produced than any other region in the world.

“All the while, Queensland has to evolve its economy and build tourism to get into events.

“It would seem crazy to miss the opportunity to turn Brisbane and South East Queensland into a ‘fair-dinkum’ events economy.

“There’s nothing in the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic bid document that delivers a place.

“Should it not be a beautiful piece of architecture for a 10,000-seat swimming venue? At one end, you put in the extra 5000 seats on a temporary basis for the Olympics and Paralympics.

“We can then be known around the world as the place to come for anyone and everyone who wants to improve, innovate, and develop in aquatic sports.

“This will then provide the impetus to develop the best in aquatic innovation, coach training, sports science, biomechanics, nutrition, and equipment development.

“In staging the Olympics and Paralympics, the biggest legacies should be sporting and physical. That should be the No.1 legacy, building the capacity of all the Olympic and Paralympic sports in this country.”

And putting his developers hat on Stockwell has even come up with an option for the site of a proposed Aquatic Centre at a Queensland State government-owned land (site) that exists at Brisbane’s Victoria Park/Barrambin, on the Spring Hill side of the city railway line adjacent to the Centenary Pool.

A site Stockwell notes that people can walk to the popular downtown Valley precinct, and into the City, with an existing railway line already there.

“Aquatics is our No.1 Olympic and Paralympic sport in Australia. We are going to win more medals in the pool than anywhere else in 2032,” writes Stockwell.

“Swimmers won nine of Australia’s 17 gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Swimming and diving shared 21 of Australia’s 46 total medals. We have a storied heritage in aquatics. And it’s Queensland.

Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay team 1984 LA Olympics

LA DREAMING: Australia’s “Mean Machine” (L-R) Mike Delany, Greg Fasala, Mark Stockwell and Neil Brooks. Silver medalists 4x100m freestyle relay. Photo Courtesy News Ltd

“Our “Olympic Aquatics Centre” should mean a home for swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo.

“All the head offices of those sports can potentially discuss a modern new home in Brisbane. You create the daily events tourism. Kids from all parts of the state and country can say this is where the Olympics and Paralympics were held in 2032. Here’s the museum, here is the Swimming Hall of Fame.

“A venue of this quality allows you to bid for World Championships, the Pan Pac titles, the Duel In The Pool, Water Polo and Diving World Cups and so on. Young athletes and aspiring Olympians and Paralympians get to see these top-class aquatic events. If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.

“If we are serious about the Queensland economy, this should be discussed. Expo 88 happened and South Bank arrived. It took a long time to get it right, but today Brisbane has a world-class cultural, entertainment, leisure, residential, commercial, and multi-use tourist destination that we are all proud of.”

Stockwell has emerged over the past 40 years as a man passionate about his sport, his city, the Olympic Games, and a legacy he knows swimming deserves in Queensland.

Time for Australia’s vibrant swimming and Olympic community to get behind Mark Stockwell and to deliver Brisbane a world class Aquatics Centre.

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3 months ago

Humbly disagree with Mark. There is already an excellent precinct at Chandler. Instead of building something near the Centenary Pool and spending way more than is necessary, the swimming arena at Chandler should be refurbished and brought up to modern international standards.
Brisbane has appalling active transport options as it is, as well as terrible public transport options. So are we going to also need a carpark to bring more cars into the CBD?
I think the money can be better spent elsewhere.

2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

You raise a really good point re transport Matt and that is why the Spring Hill idea fails IMO also. Chandler renovation I am a fan of but transport is woeful but its a lot better than a temporary pool option in CBD or Gold Coast. Thats why I reckon Boondall entertainment precinct is worth a consideration, its next to a railway line, next to Gateway has ample parking and has space for the future. When the next Roma Street Parklands entertainment hub is built I believe Boondall goes so there is a fit there. The state govt just spent millions on a legacy document but has given nil to a swimming legacy in these games

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