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Qld LNP sought advice on scrapping Games

The former LNP government sought advice on whether it could scrap the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.Queensland’s former Liberal National Party government sought advice on whether it could scrap the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, documents released by Labor show.
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Queensland Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones tabled the documents during a state budget estimates hearing on Wednesday.

Ms Jones said the advice provided to the LNP was that scrapping the games would come with a hefty price tag to cover breach of contract and costs already incurred.

“The damages that would be forced to be paid by the state, if the Commonwealth Games had been axed, would be in excess of $1 billion,” Ms Jones told the hearing in Brisbane.

“The advice that Mullins Lawyers provided at that time was that such an order would do immeasurable damage to the standing of the state of Queensland and the Gold Coast and the host city.”

The LNP’s Jann Stuckey, who was the Commonwealth Games minister in the Newman government, and current LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, both denied earlier this year that any legal advice was sought.

Current LNP Commonwealth Games spokesperson John-Paul Langbroek on Wednesday clarified the party had to come up with funding for the Games after they took office in 2012.

“The LNP sought advice about all kinds of issues around this colossal Labor mess so Queensland taxpayers would not be stung,” Mr Langbroek said in a statement.

“The Commonwealth Games would never have happened without the LNP and that is the truth.”

Ms Jones on Wednesday told the hearing the games had generated $4 billion for the local economy.

The hearing was also told retention payments of about $160,000 for two Games executives had been approved.

Commonwealth Games Department director-general Damien Walker confirmed five organising committee staff had retention payments in their contracts, which were conditional on achieving key targets such as ticket sale numbers and delivering the games on-budget.

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