612 ABC Radio Interview Transcript
Aired 5pm, June 6, 2001
SPENCER HOWSON: Now the Brisbane suburb of Tingalpa has launched a bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. They're clearly not deterred by their unsuccessful bid for the 2008 Games, which went to Beijing, and they've set up a Tingalpa 2012 website, extolling the virtues of Brisbane's eastern suburb as an Olympic host city. I'm joined in the studio by TINCOG president Tom Carroll, and in charge of security, Juan Antonio Closque. Good afternoon gentlemen.
TOM CARROLL: Afternoon, how are you.
SPENCER HOWSON: Well, thankyou. And before we discuss the 2012 bid, I might just mention again that there are several photos of the 2012 venues and facilities on our website at abc.net.au/brisbane. If you are listening to this online, those are probably the pictures in front of you on the screen right now. And from there, there's also a link to the official TINCOG website, so you can have a look while we chat. abc.net.au/brisbane. Let's look at the 2008 bid first of all, if we can, Mr Carroll and Mr Closque. What sort of support did you actually receieve from the people of Tingalpa and the broader bayside suburbs?
TOM CARROLL: Well we had overwhelming support - everybody was very enthusiastic about the bid, and they embraced it quite... well, it was very enthusiastic, shall we say. Some of the surrounding suburbs, however, were less enthusiastic. We had some negative criticism coming out of Hemmant, for example. Can only really assume that they were jealous. But you know, I think it's important to stress that this is an event for all Australians, not just those living in Tingalpa.
SPENCER HOWSON: Now you actually have some press clippings, I think, from... well, which illustrate the disappointment when you weren't successful when Beijing got the 2008 Games.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Yes. We do actually have a few that were actually saying we're shocked and dismayed that Tingalpa's lost the 2008 Olymic Games. They were still very proud of us, though. We've got a resident of Tingalpa wrote in to say that they're proud of the attitude that TINCOG portrayed, and they've done Australia as a nation proud.
SPENCER HOWSON: Yes, that's David Gwynne of Tingalpa writing in the Wynnum Herald, I think it was. "I'm not only shocked, but utterly dismayed at Tingalpa's loss of the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing. After the build-up by Mr Carroll and his team, media coverage, the infratructure upgrades - for example the Wynnum Road roadworks - and the advertising around the area, how could we expect anything less than the Games here in 2008?" And the support just went on and on. Michael in Manly wrote as well, "I've been following with interest Tingalpa's bid. Like so many others I was shocked and dismayed that its seemingly unchallengable bid was overlooked and received such poor world coverage." What did you actually do by way of campaining for 2008? I think I recall seeing the Olympic stickers on some of the road signs around Tingalpa.
TOM CARROLL: Yes, we had a lot of that sort of thing - banners around the area - on major roads in particular.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Yes. We also had a forum on the Toronto Olympic Games website too, where we were basically promoting the Tingalpa Games. And we had some support from some of the people who were in Toronto, which was interesting.
SPENCER HOWSON: Did you get calls from the media outside Brisbane?
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: (uncomfortable silence) Not... explicitly.
TOM CARROLL: Not as such.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: No, we had our local paper contact a few of the other bids, and they made some comments. But appart from that, nothing.
SPENCER HOWSON: Alright. So that's 2008, but let's put that behind us. 2012, and I suppose you do have many of the facilities already in place that you had ready for 2008 - and those are shown quite nicely in the photographs on your website, some of which are on our website as well. The world-class facilities for cool, hip, young sports like basketball. There's a beautiful photograph there of the velodrome at dusk.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: We're particularly proud of the velodrome.
TOM CARROLL: Yes, it's one of our finer accomplishments.
SPENCER HOWSON: The .. local artwork all over it.
TOM CARROLL: Yes, we thought it was important to include that cultural aspect as well, as part of our ongoing promotion of the suburb in general.
SPENCER HOWSON: For the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 82, of course, we had the boxing at City Hall. But you guys think you have a better venue?
TOM CARROLL: Yes, the local pub.
SPENCER HOWSON: The Tingalpa pub.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Yes.
SPENCER HOWSON: People are always concerned about the public cost of these bids - what will it cost the tax payer to get Tingalpa Games-ready for 2012?
TOM CARROLL: Well, in fact...
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Not a great deal!
TOM CARROLL: Not a great deal. We're on a very low budget, I think it's, what, a 3-figure budget at the moment?
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: 3 figures. We might, depending on how it goes, go up to 4 figures, but we think--
SPENCER HOWSON: Does that include the petrol to get here today?
TOM CARROLL: Well... we'll factor that in later.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: We'll throw that in, yeah.
TOM CARROLL: We've thought extensively about the sort of money we're talking about. Basically, the revenue we're going to be getting from tourism - which we estimate to be in the vicinity of 72 million dollars - should help to cover all events. In the meantime, obviously, we have to fund the thing, and we're looking at asking the State Government to impose an $85 tax on householders in the state, and getting the local councils across Queensland to collect that for us.
SPENCER HOWSON: I can't see you having any problems with that at all--
TOM CARROLL: No.
SPENCER HOWSON: -- I think the councils would all agree straight away.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: ... none whatsoever.
SPENCER HOWSON: Did you actually, for 2008, and/or will you for 2012, actually put in a formal bid to the IOC?
TOM CARROLL: Yes we did. We wrote away to the IOC--
SPENCER HOWSON: You can actually do that without the backing of the Brisbane City Council, or the State Government?
TOM CARROLL: Well, we did.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: We can physically send it to them.
SPENCER HOWSON: Yes, and what happened?
TOM CARROLL: Well, to our surprise they didn't respond. At first--
SPENCER HOWSON: At all?
TOM CARROLL: No. We thought they were just processing the paperwork initially, but as time went on, they began to... continue to ignore us, really.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: We finally got an email from Andrew Gator, the Head Admissions person ... in charge of admissions for the IOC, that basically asked us to stop emailing him.
SPENCER HOWSON: Right. And your response to that is, okay, we'll just change the emails, and make it 2012 instead of 2008?
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Well, yeah. Also, we knew that someone was reading our emails.
SPENCER HOWSON: Ah, that's always nice to know, isn't it. And why Tingalpa? I mean, obviously all the venues are in place and ready to go, the transport facilities second-to-none, again it's all in the photographs on the website, folks. But do you live in Tingalpa, for instance?
TOM CARROLL: I do, of course, yes, I've lived there all my life.
SPENCER HOWSON: Could it be then that you only want the Games in Tingalpa to drive up the price of your home? Could that--
TOM CARROLL: Oh look, that's ABSURD.
SPENCER HOWSON: .. be the real reason? Is TINCOG morally corrupt? I put it to you.
TOM CARROLL: No, not at all. We're strong supporters of bringing the Olympics back to Australia. We think that Tingalpa really is the ideal Olympic host, with its cultural diversity, it's ... well, we've got plenty of parking, for instance. It's got a lot going for it, Tingalpa. It's a great place to live.
SPENCER HOWSON: Have you received any threats at all from the IOC about the use of their logo, albeit slightly warped, on your website?
TOM CARROLL: None at all. No, so we can only assume, therefore, that they fully support us.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Yeah, they obviously support us in everything that we're doing.
SPENCER HOWSON: Alright. Tom Carroll, president of TINCOG, and Juan Antonio Closque, who's in charge of security for the Tingalpa 2012 Summer Olymic bid. You can go to our website: abc.net.au/brisbane, and see photographs from their website, and then once more you can click on the link to their website and look at even more pics. Guys, thanks for coming in this afternoon, and we wish you all the best.
TOM CARROLL: Thank you very much.
JUAN ANTONIO CLOSQUE: Pleasure.