Proposal for the 2020 joint Summer Olympic Games and Universal Exposition at Uluru…..'Expo2020lympiad Uluru'
A Joint Summer Games Olympiad and Universal Exposition…..and at a custom-built site, city, at the foot of Uluru, a third millennium earth eco-friendly site comprising of 2,000 citizens from every nation on earth, a global city-state of some 400,000 to 600,000 persons in a brave, new world 20-year experiment in governance, economics, politics, society, and the environment.
This is the major event to end all major events. Alice Springs airport will need to be expanded to cope with the “hordes” of visitors expected for this extravaganza. And not just a one off event: - an entire city with no economic purpose, and potentially no water, in the middle of the desert!
If this sounds too good to be true – we can assure you that it is. There is a good reason why there is currently not even a township at the foot of Uluru – there is nothing there except a large rock. The history of the world is full of utopian dreamers building cities which, with no real economic purpose, sucking in huge resources before declining and being abandoned – ever been to Canberra? In any case, the indigenous owners, who presumably make a very nice living creaming funds off tourists to the site, may object to a city of 400-600,000 in their backyard.
The “brave, new world” isn’t the right description for us – we thought 1984 was closer to the mark. A “global city state” implies that it will be a sovereign entity. It is one thing to use the Olympic Games as an excuse to smarten up a dumpy part of town, but quite another to then use the Olympic Village as the starting point for a new country.
So in summary, we have here a major new city with no economic raison d’être and probably no water, literally thousands of miles away from the nearest large city. Not only that, but its residents, whose key basis for selection to live at this site would be their nationality, would potentially have nothing in common – not even a common language. Sounds like a recipe for a massive white elephant, which unfortunately would have to be footed by the Australian taxpayer. There have been some examples of cosmopolitan city states being incredibly successful – but this one, unfortunately, would be no Singapore.
The back of the envelope
- Cost: $500 billion. Truthfully, we have no idea - just something with a lot of zeros
- Expected impact on average earnings: negative $500 billion. Again, we have no idea – just something with at least as many zeros
- Expected impact on economic growth: Unbelievably negative
- Impact on incentives: None that are positive, unless there is some incentive in parcelling out our national territory to establish small basket case countries
- Impact on government spending: Lots and lots
- Winners: Olympic Village project managers
- Losers: The people that dreamt this one up