By Tom Degun in the Gold Coast

Mark_Peters_with_Mike_HooperJune 22 - Mark Peters (pictured right), the chief executive of Gold Coast 2018, has predicted that hosting the Commonwealth Games will be worth around $2 billion (£1.3 billion) to the Australian city if they beat only rivals Hambantota.

"We have a number of companies in Australia that do economic impact studies which are accepted as being very real studies," Peters told insidethegames.

"They have worked out that there will be around a $2 billion (£1.3 billion) injection into the Gold Coast community.

"A successful bid would also create around 30,000 jobs for us and then are a whole lot of what you could describe as intangible benefits such as pride in your city and pride in your country.

"We already have a massive volunteer base but a lot more people will volunteer for the Games which will be great and there will be no white elephants.

"The venues we will build for the Games will be built with legacy in mind and can be used by the community or for elite sporting events afterwards so hopefully the voters will see that what our the 2018 Commonwealth Games here can do for the city."

The the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, are currently undertaking a four-day inspection of the Gold Coast.

The Commission will produce a final Evaluation report for voting delegates to be published this September which will play a key role in deciding where the 2018 Commonwealth Games are staged when the vote for them takes place at the GCF General Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis and Peters has revealed the amount the event would generate for the Gold Goast.

"We were happy with the bid book and it was fairly massive task to put that together so it was great to hand that over and we are delighted that to have the CGF Evaluation Commission here and have the chance to show off the city," said Peters.

Despite having some proposed 2018 Commonwealth Games venues in place, a large amount of construction would be required from the Gold Coast if the win the right to stage the event, including the building of a brand new 4,000 capacity Velodrome but Peters is confident preparation could be finalised well in advance of 2018.

"We know that in a relatively short period of time that we can put all of the venues together and deliver a fantastic Games," he said.

"We think a real strength for us is that a lot of facilities are already here, the transport systems are here, the experience is here and therefore a 2018 Commonwealth Games here is very realistic and would be delivered on time."

Peters admitted that losing the 2018 bid to its only rivals Hambantota would be a setbackfor his team but said that the Gold Coast would still benefit from the planning done for the bid.

"Losing the bid will be devastating because we want the Games so much," he said. 

"But having said that, there is a lot of good planning that has gone around facilities and transport systems just to enhance and improve them and those things will happen in the Gold Coast anyway.

"But rather than have them in five years, they might happen in ten years.

"So going through the bid process makes a lot of people realise what a great city this is and the planning enhances the next decade for the city.

"So yes we will be devastated if we lose but so will Hambantota if they lose.

"This is a competition and the great about sport and passion means it always matters a lot."

The CGF Evaluation Commission are due end complete their inspection of the Gold Coast tomorrow with members of the Commission indicating that to insidethegames that things have so far gone very well.

They are then due to travel to Sri Lanka to begin an inspection of Hambantota's bid, strarting next Monday (June 27).

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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