By Duncan Mackay
December 18 - Queensland's Premier Anna Bligh (pictured) has cast doubt over the Gold Coast's proposed $1 billion (£570 million) bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, admitting it is unlikely to go ahead if Australia's campaign to to host the World Cup is successful.
Bligh has been enthusiastically promoting the Gold Coast bid and in October travelled to New Delhi to lobby Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) officials.
She said: "We put our hat in the ring.
"If we got the World Cup, there might have to be some reconsideration of the bid.
"I'm just being honest about it."
The Australian Government has offered support but failed to promise any financial backing despite Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) chief executive Perry Crosswhite warning that the bid would require substantial support from Kevin Rudd's Federal Government.
The ACGA are due to decide in the New Year whether to put forward the bid from the Gold Coast.
Bligh said: ""The ACGA has made it absolutely clear to me that if they decide that Australia should bid, there is only one place to consider and that is the Gold Coast.
"They were excited about what the Gold Coast has to offer versus any other capital city in Australia.
"They think its the Gold Coast that would give us the competitive edge in a bid."
But Australia's high-profile campaign to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup would substantially drain resources if it is successful, Bligh admitted.
She said: "I expect that it will be a factor that needs to be taken into account."
Another factor is whether Auckland decide to put themselves forward.
Bligh said: "The emergence of a serious bid by Auckland will also be taken into account, but without a doubt the Gold Coast is in play and we are going to back it to the hilt."
Auckland are also expected to decide next month whether to proceed with the bid and join a field that could include Abuja, the Nigerian capital who lost out for the 2014 Games to Glasgow, Port-of-Spain in Trinidad, Durban in South Africa and Nairobi in Kenya.
The Commonwealth Games Federation are due to choose the host city at its Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis in November 2011.
FIFA are due to choose the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments at a meeting in Zurich on December 2, 2010.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
November 2009: Gold Coast 2018 bid given perfect report card claims Mayor
October 2009: Queensland Premier meets with officials over $1 billion Commonwealth Games bid
September 2009: Gold Coast is not withdrawing from 2018 Commonwealth Games race
September 2009: Fraser backs Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bid
June 2009: Gold Coast has exclusive rights for 2018 Commonwealth Games