QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has joined the chorus of complaints and slammed the organisers of last night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
The premier said while the state government was consulted on the closing ceremony, it had been kept in the dark about the decision not to include the athletes in the televised broadcast.
“I am just as disappointed as anyone else,” she said. “We wanted to stand there and celebrate our athletes and it didn’t happen.”
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“At the end of the day, we appoint an agency to run the day to day operations of the Games and that was GOLDOC.
“Whoever made that decision not to allow the athletes to march in should hang their heads in shame.”
Addressing the wave of criticism this morning, Games boss Peter Beattie admitted organisers had “got it wrong”.
“I am disappointed,” Mr Beattie told 102.9 Hot Tomato’s Flan & Emily Jade with Christo.
“We didn’t include [the athletes] in the actual broadcast and that was a stuff up on our part.
“We should have actually had a parade again even though [the athletes] were in the stadium.
“We just stuffed it up.”
Commonwealth Games minister Kate Jones echoed the premier’s words and said the government had expected the closing ceremony to follow tradition.
“We expected this closing ceremony to follow the tradition of every closing ceremony which is about the athletes,” Ms Jones said.
“We were consulted last year and we were advised that the closing ceremony would follow the tradition of having athletes walking into the stadium and of course an amazing Australian holding the flag.
“That did happen as you saw [but] we were not consulted about it not being broadcast.
“We wanted to see the athletes just like everybody else. We are as disappointed as every other Australian that wanted to cheer on those athletes.
“Peter Beattie has already said today that he takes full responsibility and good on him for owning up.”