26 July 2021

Probing the polls: COVID information criticism and could we host a Canberra Olympics?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Canberra stadium

If Canberra is going to host Olympic events in 2032, we’re going to need to renovate. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Confusion still reigns among many in the community according to last week’s poll. Amid rising concerns around the vaccination rollout, we asked whether you thought the government’s COVID-19 information campaign has been effective.

The Federal Government has rolled out several new advertisements – a targeted campaign for Sydney showing a woman suffering the effects of severe COVID-19 and a more benign national campaign that urges people to “Arm Yourself” by getting the vaccine jab.

READ ALSO Probing the polls: Seselja’s choice and arming yourself against COVID-19

Of the latter, Angela Robbers wrote: “It’s effective, simple and on point (no pun intended). I also like this one”. But Carol Miller thought that “the grim reaper ad with the bowling ball was more effective. This ad isn’t graphic, it’s laughable”.

Hidden Dragon described the Arm Yourself advertisement as “bland, dull, colourless, low voltage – basically indistinguishable from the steady stream of yawn-inducing infomercials which emanate from Canberra regardless of which side of politics is in power”.

Renee Mae wrote: “Ever since hearing about younger people being in hospital with this new strain, I have been fearful and this is what has motivated me to book in for the vacc, rather than the idea that the sooner we all get it the sooner life can go back to normal. The latter hasn’t really motivated me that much because, being in Canberra with very few cases, we haven’t felt the fuller effects of lockdowns etc.”

A total of 474 readers voted in the poll. Your options were to choose No, I’m confused about where, when and how to get the vaccine. This received 64 per cent of the total, or 303 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, vaccination is a complex issue but they’re getting it right. This received 36 per cent of the total, or 171 votes.

This week, as the pandemic-affected Tokyo Games begin, we’re wondering whether Canberra could ever host the Olympics?

The new slimmed-down version of the global games doesn’t require the extensive infrastructure investment it once did, and Brisbane will host the 2023 games across the state’s southeast.

But has the gloss gone off getting the Games?

READ ALSO With Brisbane set to host the 2032 Olympic Games, is Canberra capable of playing a role?

Tim Gavel reminded us that in 1996, following an invitation from the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, the ACT Government lodged a bid to host preliminary round matches in football and be the training base for several teams. But costs to renovate Bruce Stadium blew out considerably, with consequent political costs. And, Gavel wrote, there’s been little attention to developing world-class sports venues since then.

Could we step up to the mark in the future, either as a joint venue for the Brisbane Games or in our own right? Or have our sporting venues deteriorated to the point where we would have few options for Games hosting rights?

Michael Kummle wrote: “Well, this needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed right now. There is no way the pandemic is going to end very soon. It would be great for Brisbane to get the Olympics and if there are to be matches happening outside of Brisbane, we hope that Canberra plays a role in it and that their facilities are better than ever”.

Our poll question this week is:

Could Canberra host part or all of the Olympics?

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There was a report in the media that the average modern Olympics has a cost blowout of 170%. So you can see why Brisbane was so lucky to get it…..

I don’t think Canberra should host an Olympics. I remember a world athletics games we hosted in 1985. It was terrible and we were virtually an international laughing stock.

The athletes were being dived bombed by magpies all the time and very few people turned up. There were stories in the interstate papers to the effect that the privileged public servants were more interested in something tea in their offices rather than supporting the event.

I can remember the photo in the Canberra Times of a spectator with an Austrralian flag in an almost deserted grandstand at Bruce Stadium. The whole event gave the lie to the often repeated statement regarding building sports stadia “build it and they will come”. In this case we built it in 1977 and hardly anybody came.

The Olympics should be forever canceled. They only destroy the bank account of the city and sometimes nation that hosts them. They provide no benefit whatsoever.
The IOC is corrupt and doesn’t care about anything besides getting their TV $$$. The IOC treatment of Tokyo is clear proof of this.
Once the IOC worked out they could make money from TV broadcast licensing, no host city has broken even on hosting costs.
The games are a waste of space and $$$. Something everyone is better off without.

HiddenDragon6:17 pm 27 Jul 21

In the afterglow of the Sydney Games, Roy and HG had an amusing conversation about future host “city” candidates, including Quorn and Nuriootpa………

Capital Retro2:44 pm 27 Jul 21

The ACT hasn’t even got enough money to pay all the facilitation payments involved.

If Qatar can host a World Cup…

As much as I’ve have loved to see Olympics hosted here, it’s too small. Brisbane is spreading their Olympics infrastructure throughout the State municipalities to avoid ‘ghettos’ of dead stadiums and facilities in one location after the Games are over. We really don’t need a stadium in each town centre 😀

Canberra is too small to even consider hosting an Olympics. Brisbane has experience with World Expo ’88 and Commonwealth Games. The best that could be aimed for would be a winter Olympics with the events held at places like Thredbo and indoor events in Canberra. But even then the logistics would be difficult.

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