The International Canoe Federation has welcomed Redland City Council’s continued commitment to the creation of a whitewater centre earmarked to stage the Canoe Slalom competition at the Brisbane 2032 Olympics. 

The local council’s pledge comes after the outcome of a 60-day independent review of all the venue infrastructure proposed in the masterplan for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

The sport venue review panel found that there was “a range of advantages” to building the Redland Whitewater Centre including “strong legacy outcomes” and a “sound financial model” and recommended for the project to move forward as scoped. 

A spokesperson from Redland City Council stated its support of the venue plans following previous resolutions in April 2021 and September 2023 to commit to being a Brisbane 2032 Junior Games Partner. 

“Council has confirmed its continued support for the Redland Whitewater Centre,” said the Council spokesperson. 

“The resolution adopted at this week’s meeting noted that the sport venue review panel report acknowledged the proposed whitewater centre presented a compelling case, with a sound financial model and strong legacy outcomes. 

“The review panel findings noted the facility would provide a regional attraction that could have broader benefits to Redlands Coast and would provide a convenient training facility for Queensland Government Emergency Services, Queensland Surf Life Saving and other first responder agencies. 

“Council noted the Queensland Government’s response to the recent Sport Venue Review: Independent Review of Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Venue Infrastructure report that recommended the project proceed subject to the continued support of Council.” 

Under the proposals, the Redland Whitewater Centre will be located on about 18 per cent of the 26-hectare core parkland within the Birkdale Community Precinct. 

The total area of the Birkdale Community Precinct is 62 hectares with the Canoe Slalom facility encompassing about eight per cent of that. 

Redlands whitewater centre Brisbane 2032 Canoe Slalom

The spokesperson for Redland City Council said the planned Redland Whitewater Centre was a region-shaping project. 

“Council undertook extensive consultation with the Redlands Coast community to design a precinct that would meet community needs as well as Games requirements to deliver a legacy project for the city,” the spokesperson added. 

“According to the Trade and Investment Queensland website, the Games are forecast to drive more than 90,000 jobs per year, $3.5 billion in social benefits and more than $4.5 billion in tourism and trade boost for Queensland. 

“Being an event venue city will give businesses and investors the confidence that our city is worthy of their attention, and Redlands Coast has a golden opportunity to participate under this once-in-a-lifetime spotlight.” 

ICF President Thomas Konietzko said he was confident the new facility would bring long-lasting and wide-ranging benefits to Redlands. 

“This unique centre will be a fantastic asset to the local community as part of an entertainment park, additionally offering swift-water rescue training facilities for emergency service personnel throughout the year,” said Mr Konietzko. 

“It is great that it will provide so many recreational opportunities for the public as part of a community precinct and of course it will attract paddlers from around the world to use this venue the whole year for training activities that will generate additional revenues for the city. 

“As we have seen from previous Olympics, whitewater venues lead the way when it comes to legacy as they offer enormous benefits long after the Games have taken place.  

“I expect this facility to add great value to Redlands for decades to come. 

“It will leave a legacy not only for Australia but across the world.” 

ICF Vice-President Lluis Rabaneda added: “The Olympics in Brisbane are eight years away but I am already looking forward to it, especially after our site visit last year and involvement in the reference design and project validation process. 

 “The Redland Whitewater Centre is an exciting facility that has the potential to be a great host for recreational activity to  major events in our sport , so we are delighted to have the backing of Redland City Council.  

 “It is also inspiring to see the focus on a sustainable operating model, ensuring it remains a thriving community facility once the Games are over.” 

Redland City Council also confirmed that the Queensland Government’s project validation report process on the Redland Whitewater Centre is in progress. 

Once this has been completed, the council said it will be considered by the Australian and Queensland Governments for an investment decision.

The ICF’s strategic vision, as outlined in its Fit For Future plan, places significant emphasis on leveraging whitewater venues to contribute to sustainable development goals.

These venues play a crucial role in generating revenue, promoting citizen welfare and accelerating climate and environmental objectives.

Check out the ICF's Whitewater Venues - Advancing Urban Sustainability report by clicking here

Related links

Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross