The Premier has called Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke a secret weapon in Queensland’s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Anna Bligh returned from her Indian visit today, telling Parliament that the former running champion could prove to be the winning component in their bid.

Letisha Willocks reports.

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TRANSCRIPT

The starter’s gun has been fired on the Gold Coast’s Commonwealth games bid and Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland’s off to flying start.

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “It’s time for the Gold Coast to have its chance to step up to the plate and be the focal point of another moment in our history.”

She says a moving video from Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke a Commonwealth and Olympic games legend impressed games delegates and could be the crucial difference in helping the city win the bid.

If successful the Gold Coast strip will be overhauled with upgrades to existing sporting facilities and the construction of a athletes village.

Ms Bligh says Queensland’s new tourism brand is also off to a great start with the brand already recording $3.7 million in publicity revenue.

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “On the first day it launched, Queensland where Australia shines, was the second most viewed travel and events YouTube video in the world.”

Meanwhile the opposition has called for tougher sentencing laws for paedophiles after a child protection officer at a southern Queensland school pleaded guilty to 44 sex offences.

Lawrence Springborg, Deputy Opposition Leader: “Does the Premier finally understand the communities disgust at this inadequate sentence.”

Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “There is a debate about the sentence, that debate will be fully resolved when the first law officer, the governor general, has had a chance to consider the material appropriately, rigorously, thoughtfully.”

But Mr Langbroek says the system needs to be overhauled.

John-Paul Langbroek, Qld Opposition Leader: “Labor’s justice system is flawed, Labor’s justice system is weak, Labor’s justice system is out of step with community standards but worst of all it’s failed 13 girls and their families.”

Letisha Willocks, QUT News.