REBUKE: Senator Pauline Hanson’s opposition to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics bid has drawn criticism from regional mayors. Picture: Kym Smith
REBUKE: Senator Pauline Hanson’s opposition to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics bid has drawn criticism from regional mayors. Picture: Kym Smith

Regional leaders rebuke Hanson’s opposition to Olympics bid

PAULINE Hanson's campaign against the 2032 Brisbane Olympics bid has drawn the ire of regional mayors, who say the games could deliver vital infrastructure for their regions.

The Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley Regional Councils' campaign to secure a passenger rail link between Brisbane and the key regions may be boosted by a successful bid for the Olympic Games.

But Senator Hanson's campaign against the bid and her declaration "Regional Queensland says no" has drawn a rebuke from the mayors.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday morning and announcing the formation of the Ipswich to Toowoomba Passenger Rail Alliance, Lockyer Valley mayor Tanya Milligan said Hanson's campaign was "all politics".

"I'm disappointed by the comments. Put your energy into something that's really great for our community," Cr Milligan said.

"If everyone worked together, regardless of what party you belong to, the community would be far more grateful. We would get a hell of a lot more done."

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio and Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan were both critical of Pauline Hanson’s opposition to the Olympic Games bid. Picture: Dominic Elsome
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio and Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan were both critical of Pauline Hanson’s opposition to the Olympic Games bid. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Toowoomba mayor Paul Antonio was also critical of the senators opposition to the games.

"My response to Pauline Hanson is that the Olympics do many things for communities," Cr Antonio said.

"We put our hand up because it will generate significant activity here - we'll get infrastructure, we'll get a legacy in this area, that we wouldn't have without the Olympic Games."

The Queensland Senator kicked of her campaign against the bid, hoping to turn the games into a political issue ahead of the state election, by placing 52 billboards in regional areas declaring "2032 Brisbane Olympics. Regional Queensland Says No".

A $15 million dollar business case for a passenger rail link between Toowoomba and the state capital is set to get underway soon, with both mayors lauding the potential benefits the transport link would bring.

"For us, it's about accessibility. It's about potential opportunities for business," Cr Milligan said.


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