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Monday, 20 June 2011

The death of a policeman gunned down during an armed robbery won't affect the Gold Coast's chances of hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games

The death of a policeman gunned down during an armed robbery won't affect the Gold Coast's chances of hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the evaluating committee says.

The Evaluation Commission (EC) of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) arrived on Queensland's tourist strip on Monday.

EC members will check details supplied in the bid, from the ability of state and federal bodies to provide the required level of security, to the quality of the Gold Coast's air and water, its existing and future event facilities, accommodation, transport and even food.

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But they said they won't be taking into account things like the death of detective Damian Leeding who was gunned down trying to stop an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern last month.

"It's not a major issue as far as I'm concerned," EC chair Louise Martin said.

"It's not a concern because I've read the event security documents and we've had a presentation from the top people.

"When you put (on) a major Games ... you can plan and plan and plan, but you can only do as much as required, know you've covered every part of the whole thing, and you have to trust and go with that.

"Cops get shot in other countries as well, and I'm quite sure your police force and security people will have it well under control."

CGF Chief Executive Mike Hooper agreed the commission would not give weight to the incident.

"It's a one-off criminal offence and while it's shocking and tragic, clearly in the context of delivering a safe and secure environment for the Games, we're comforted by the guarantees we've been given by the federal government of Australia and the state government of Queensland."

Premier Anna Bligh said everyone remembers what the Commonwealth Games did for the city of Brisbane, and the opportunity to do the same for the Gold Coast is a chance her government doesn't want to miss.

"This is an opportunity not only for jobs in construction, but it's another chance to put the Gold Coast on the international radar," she said.

"It is a great sporting event and we want the Gold Coast to be leading it."

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