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December 21 - The Liberal National Party (LNP), the Opposition Party in Queensland, have called on Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's (pictured) to come clean about the cost of hosting the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games following a leaked report that suggests they have a $7 million (£4.5 million/€5.3 million) black hole.

The briefing note from within the Department of Premier and Cabinet has revealed that the Queensland Government, of which the Labour Party holds the majority, must pay more than $17 million (£11 million/€13 million) to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) this financial year but that only $10 million (£6.4/€7.7 million) has been set aside.

"This latest revelation shows that in fact the cost this year will be $7 million (£4.47 million/€5.34 million) more than we've been told," said the opposition treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls.

"Really the Government, if they want to ensure that people support the Commonwealth Games as they want and as we want to do, then they need to come clean and tell people where money's coming from and tell them up front how much it's going to cost.

"We now know why Treasurer Andrew Fraser argued against Anna Bligh about the Government's bid for the Commonwealth Games."

Queensland's acting Sport Minister Simon Finn claimed that the issue is being addressed and that a winning bid was always going to present some early costs.

"We've always known that there would some initial up-front costs in staging the Games," he said.

"There is no blow-out in the cost of the Games but obviously with the bid announced late in the year, we have to address the costs of this through the mid-year review."

Gold Coast 2018 chairman Mark Stockwell has also claimed that the Commonwealth Games will be delivered on time and on budget as promised in the bid.

"None of these things came out of the blue," said Stockwell.

"It is just the difference in bidding for the Games and actually hosting them."

Stockwell added that he was confident about delivering a "great event" within the $1 billion (£639 million/€746 million) budget set by the State Government.

The leaked document shows the Queensland Government must pay $47 million (£30 million/€36 million) to the ACGA over eight years for marketing rights for the 2018 Commonwealth Games with an initial first payment of $15 million (£9.5 million/€11.4 million) due by by January 1, 2012.

A further $17 million (£11 million/€13 million) is required by the CGF under the Host City contract provisions over seven years while a $2.3 million (£1.5 million/€1.8 million) down payment is due by February 1, 2012.

By Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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November 28 - Glasgow 2014 has hit the landmark 100th member of staff with the appointment of former top swimmer Todd Cooper as the Sport Competition Cluster Manager for the Commonwealth Games.

The 28-year-old Stirling University graduate, who joins from the national events agency EventScotland, already sits on Glasgow 2014's Athletes' Advisory Committee having competed at both the Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze in the latter competition as part of Scotland's 4x100 metres men's medley relay.

He was also part of Team GB at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics while he is one of four Sport Competition Cluster Managers to have been recruited by Glasgow 2014 in recent weeks.

He joins Alison Lunn, Mark Mateer and Keith Joss, who will all be responsible for the planning and organisation of a group of sports and will contribute to their successful delivery at Games-time.

Cooper will direct his focus to his native sport of aquatics as well as squash, table tennis and rugby sevens.

"As a former Commonwealth competitor, I am excited to have this opportunity to be at the heart of the preparations for the Games coming to Glasgow and to be the Organising Committee's 100th employee is an added honour," he said.

"I can't wait to get started in this role as part of the Sport team and play my part in creating a memorable Games for all of Scotland."

The milestone appointment comes as Glasgow 2014 continues to ramp up its recruitment campaign to fill 1,044 posts across a wide variety of roles between now and the Games via the services of Search Consultancy who look to identify the most appropriate candidates with the experience and skillset required to stage a world class Games.

"This is an exciting milestone for Glasgow 2014 and demonstrates the pace and scale of our recruitment," said Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg.

"Over the next two-and-a-half years we will increase our staff numbers to 1,044 and create a strong team with the mix of experience and skills we require to stage an outstanding Games and have a legacy of skills in Glasgow and Scotland.

"We are delighted to welcome Todd, a former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete, as our 100th employee and we look forward to his contribution to the team and the Games at large.

"Todd's experience as an athlete at previous Games will complement our team as we plan to deliver an athlete centred and sport focused Games."

Shona Robison, Scotland's Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, added: "As well as bringing an international sporting spectacle to Scotland, hosting the Commonwealth Games is a tremendous opportunity to create a lasting legacy through the creation of new jobs and boosting our economy.

"I'm delighted to see the 100th member of staff in place and I congratulate Todd on his appointment.

"The skills and experience he brings with him will ensure he makes a significant contribution to a successful Commonwealth Games.

"With less than 1,000 days to go until the big event this latest milestone shows the Organising Committee is continuing to oversee the successful delivery of the Games which remain on time, on budget and on track to be a fantastic event for all of Scotland."

By Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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