Commonwealth Games will fall $17m into red next year

COMMONWEALTH Games organisers will run a $17 million deficit in the next financial year, with increasing spend sharply outpacing income, according to yesterday's State Budget.

However, the Games are expected to break even by the time Goldoc is dissolved on June 30, 2019, with the 2016-17 deficit far lower than forecast.

Expenses for the Games will ramp up significantly for the event year, from $190 million last year to $765 million in 2017-18.

More than $520 million of Goldoc's $748.2 million income for 2017-18 will come from government grants, with $221.3 million coming in through "user fees and charges".

The organisation will make just $157,000 in other revenue.

Staffing of Goldoc is budgeted to increase from 487 to 867 positions, adding more than $103 million to expenses in the coming financial year, with a further $712.8 million spent on "operational acitivity" as preparations ramp up.

The Budget papers reveal the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Village is progressing ahead of schedule, resulting in lower costs to the taxpayer.

However, some of these savings have been offset by Government subsidies to developer Grocon, which have increased as a result of higher land sales.

Funding of the Games Village will contribute to a forecast deficit of $28.2 million for the Department of Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning for 2017-18, Budget papers revealed.

There was an $84 million increase in expenses from 2016-17 from 2017-18 in grants and subsidies paid by that Department overall, with "increased costs related to budgeted obligations for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Village in accordance with the development agreement" contributing.

The department will spend $6.3 million less on non-financial assets in 2017-18 than the previous, year, with the papers saying "lower forecast capital spend" for the village has contributed to the reduction in cost.

The Budget did not specify what proportion of any of these amounts could be separately attributed to Games Village funding, but maintain GC2018 is "on time and one Budget".

Elsewhere in the Budget, remaining funds previously Budgeted for Game venues have been allocated this year, including $1.3 million for the Village Roadshow Sound Stage 9 for squash, table tennis and boxing facilities; $1.2 million for the Gold Coast Hockey Centre; $590,000 for the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails; $6.9 million for the Carrara Precinct and $1.5 million for the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre for gymnastics and netball facilities.

A cultural program for Brisbane's QPAC during the Games will be funded by the Premier's Department for an unknown sum.

News Corp Australia

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