E L E B R A T E ' 8 8
Progressing the World Expo '88 Vision
- A non-government not-for-profit entity celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 -

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Expo Corner

What ever happened to Gold Coast World Expo 2002?
(Excerpts from Queensland Department of Premier & Cabinet Annual Report 1997-1998)
pp.6-7, 31

"During the year the Department provided administrative support to the Gold Coast Expo 2002 Bid Team led, for the Government, by Sir Llew Edwards AC, former Deputy Premier and Treasurer of Queensland and Chairman of the very successful Expo 88 in Brisbane. It was very disappointing, that notwithstanding the intense lobbying of most of the 83 member countries of the Bureau of International Expositions by Sir Llew, former Governor-General the Honourable Bill Hayden AC and others, Australia lost to the Philippines by a narrow margin on the second vote after the first vote was tied.

Should a similar competitive bid be considered in the future, then special administrative arrangements might
 be considered to overcome inflexibilities perceived by the Bid Team, with respect to existing State Government tendering and accounting requirements, in view of very short deadlines it commonly faces and a need to make quick decisions in the field as part of the unpredictable negotiating and lobbying environment."

"Of the total expenditure for the 1997-98 financial year, approximately $2.633 million was spent on the Expo
2002 bid. The Australian Government at the request of the Queensland Government, lodged a bid with the Bureau of International Expositions for the right to host a recognised exposition at Coomera on the Gold Coast in 2002.

Gold Coast Expo 2002 Bid

The Gold Coast Expo 2002 Committee, chaired by former Deputy Premier and Expo ‘88 chairman Sir Llew
Edwards AC, was responsible for preparing and promoting Australia’s bid for the right to stage a recognised exposition at Coomera on the Gold Coast firstly in 2005 and subsequently in 2002.

In preparing Australia’s bid, a number of potential sites in the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor were
comprehensively evaluated by the Bid Committee prior to the Coomera site being identified as the most suitable for the staging of an international event of this type.

Following identification of the Coomera site, a formal bid proposal was developed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). Australia’s formal
bid was evaluated by a BIE team which visited Australia in February 1998 and was found to be viable and feasible in accordance with the BIE rules and regulations.

As part of the bidding process and to gain support for Australia’s bid, most of the 83 member countries of the
 BIE were visited and lobbied at both the bureaucratic and political levels by members of the Expo committee and former Governor-General the Hon. Bill Hayden AC who was engaged specifically for this purpose. Presentations were also made on four occasions to half yearly general assemblies of the BIE in Paris.

At the BIE assembly on 5 June 1998, the Philippines was successful in winning Expo 2002 by a narrow
margin over Australia. The decision went to a second vote after the first vote was tied.

The Office of the Co-ordinator General gave administrative support to the Expo committee. The office comprised a small, multi-skilled team of officers who could respond quickly to development issues
 as they arose, advising the Co-ordinator General and Premier on major proposals and requests for government assistance, and managing and co-ordinating the State’s continuing interaction with major developers."


Whilst the Exposition bid for 2002 was won by the Philippines, the Philippine Government later withdrew it's
application, citing internal financial concerns.

Expo 2002 never happened!