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Regional Victoria’s Commonwealth Games axed

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Premier Daniel Andrews announced last week he was pulling the plug on the Commonwealth Games being hosted in regional Victoria in 2026.

Mr Andrews said the decision was due to the expected financial cost of hosting the games had more than doubled the estimated economic benefit for the state.

“What’s become clear is that the cost of hosting these games in 2026 is not the $2.6 billion, which is budgeted and allocated and […] vast majority of which has not been spent,” Mr Andrews said.

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“It’s not $2.6 billion, it is in fact at least $6 billion, and could be as high as $7 billion.

“$7 billion is well and truly too much for a 12-day sporting event. I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year.”

The State Government advised the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia that Victoria would be terminating the host agreement.

Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said the cancellation was ‘a betrayal to all Victorians’.

“The Premier’s decision to scrap the Commonwealth Games is proof the government did not do their due diligence before agreeing to host the games,” she said.

“The decision is evidence the Andrews Labor Government cannot be trusted to properly cost or manage major projects and casts further doubt on Labor’s promise to deliver the infrastructure and tourism packages they announced.

“Not only must this infrastructure be delivered as promised, but it is also vital Labor invest some of the existing $2.6 billion in funding to fix regional roads once and for all, a legacy that will ensure the safety of all Victorians.”

The government announced a $2 billion package to ‘ensure regional Victoria still receives all the benefits that would have been facilitated by the games and more’.

Funding includes delivery of permanent new and upgraded sporting infrastructure projects and a $1 billion Regional Housing Fund, expected to deliver more than 1300 new homes across regional Victoria.

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