Former QLD premier Peter Beattie is getting down to the job of organising the April 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast – it’s what he’s learnt in a lifetime of leadership roles.
As chairman of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, he’s well aware of the responsibility of organising the biggest event in Queensland’s history and Australia’s biggest event in a decade.
Beattie, who shares a regular spot on Sky News sparring with former deputy Liberal leader Peter Reith, was appointed chairman of the games in May after a stint in the US as Queensland’s trade and investment commissioner.
“It’s our job to make sure they are delivered on time and on budget,” Beattie says. “The task covers everything from ensuring we get the best athletes through to organising the relay batons, to ensuring the venues are finished on time, ticket sales and charges.
“We’ve just released a number of strategies so they will continue over the next period between now and the event.
“That includes getting the tickets priced at the right level to make sure families go because it’s about ensuring young kids get to those sorts of things.
“And the big challenge is always transport – getting 1.5 million spectators to the event and their six million troops over the event itself.”
As Queensland Premier from 1998–2007 and author of Where To From Here, Australia?, released in February, Beattie says he’s happy to lead the Commonwealth Games charge.
“It’s basically a combination of experience and organising things but also bringing the team with you, building a team of people, getting those sorts of commitments from people to deliver what needs to be done, getting the best out of people,” he says.
“Leadership is obviously a combination of things. It’s about ensuring people are empowered to do what they’re asked to do, but also work in a team to make sure that’s achieved.
“Basically you know when to put forward what’s required and that’s the objectives you need to achieve but you do it in a rational and sensible way,” he says.
“You also know the boundaries and who can deliver what needs to be done. Some of that requires subtlety, some of that requires directness, but in the end it means being well informed but also being strategic in what you need to do.”
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