By Tom Degun
June 13 - Queensland's Government has pledged that over 30,000 new jobs will be created in the Gold Coast should the Australian coastal city stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Queensland's Treasurer Andrew Fraser (pictured) has forecast the creation of 140,000 jobs in Queensland over the next two years ahead of the State Budget announcement tomorrow, which will be driven by a $14 billion (£9 billion) capital works programme.
However, Fraser said there would be around a 30,000 increase on the number if the Gold Coast holds off Sri Lankan rivals Hambantota to win the right to host the Games, with a decision due from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at its Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 this year.
"There's no doubt that the Gold Coast will play a big part in Queensland's next wave of prosperity," he said.
"The Commonwealth Games, should our bid be successful, will be a big driver of construction jobs in the lead-up to 2018.
"There's also little doubt that once the world sees the Gold Coast as host of the Games, there will be a swag of economic benefits, including more jobs in sectors like tourism and retail."
Last month, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh outlined the major economic benefits the 2018 Commonwealth Games would bring to the Gold Coast and urged the local public to back the bid.
"An independent economic assessment has estimated that the potential economic benefit of staging the Games to be up to $2 billion (£1.3 million)," she said.
"These Games would leave a permanent legacy for the Gold Coast and a huge boost for tourism and accommodation providers - there are 19,915 hotel beds within a 10 kilometres radius of Carrara Stadium alone."
Gold Coast 2018 chairman Mark Stockwell added: "The Games Village will kick start the Health and Knowledge Precinct at Parklands, which is part of the city's bold vision.
"The investment at Carrara will deliver on Council's economic vision to broaden its sports tourism economy and the Commonwealth Games will deliver the event that will put the Gold Coast on the international map once again and will be the focus for the Gold Coast to become a world class city.
"To achieve this we need to win the vote of the 71 voting delegates in November.
"This is why we need the whole community behind the bid.
"It's our time to shine."
The 2018 bid race has now reached a crucial stage with the CGF Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, set to visit both candidate cities later this month.
The Commission will visit the Gold Coast from June 20-23 before travelling to Hambantota from June 27-30.