We were informed today that the Victorian Government has walked away from their agreement to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
This is hugely disappointing for the Commonwealth Sport Movement, for athletes around the Commonwealth and the Organising Committee who are well advanced in their planning and preparation.
The reasons given are financial. The numbers quoted to us today of $6 billion are 50% more than those advised to the Organising Committee board at its meeting in June.
These figures are attributed to price escalation primarily due to the unique regional delivery model that Victoria chose for these Games, and in particular relate to village and venue builds and transport infrastructure.
Since awarding Victoria the Games, the Government has made decisions to include more sports and an additional regional hub, and changed plans for venues, all of which have added considerable expense, often against the advice of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA).
We are disappointed that we were only given eight hours’ notice and that no consideration was given to discussing the situation to jointly find solutions prior to this decision being reached by the Government.
Up until this point, the Government had advised that sufficient funding was available to deliver the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
We are taking advice on the options available to us and remain committed to finding a solution for the Games in 2026 that is in the best interest of our athletes and the wider Commonwealth Sport Movement.