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Premier ducks questions over call up to Games inquiry

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has shrugged off whether he would accept an invitation to face a federal inquiry into the Commonwealth Games.



Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his deputy are not volunteering to face questions from a federal inquiry over cancelling the Commonwealth Games.


A Senate committee investigating Australia's preparedness to host Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games has agreed to reopen public submissions following Victoria's decision to scrap hosting the 2026 event.


Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie wants it to call Mr Andrews, Deputy Premier and former Commonwealth Games delivery minister Jacinta Allan, former Games legacy minister Harriet Shing and Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas to give evidence.


The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee doesn't have the power to compel the premier or ministers to appear but could issue invitations.


Its next hearing is scheduled for August before it reports in December.


Victoria's negotiation team returned from London without a compensation settlement deal with Games organisers but talks are ongoing.


Mr Andrews refused be drawn when asked if he would accept an invitation to appear before the inquiry.


"I haven't received an invitation so I won't be dealing with completely hypothetical matters," he said on Tuesday.


"There's a negotiation going on and we'll appropriately respect that."


Ms Allan, who the Victorian opposition is calling on to resign over the debacle and is viewed as a premier in waiting, was similarly non-committal.


"There is some speculation in the press and senator McKenzie has been running around saying all sorts of things," she said.


"Let's wait and see what happens in Canberra."


Victoria dumped hosting the Games across Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton over a forecast cost blowout of up to $4.4 billion, having initially budgeted $2.6b for the 12-day event.


No other Australian state or territory has come to the rescue, leaving Games organisers without a host three years out from the event.


Mr Andrews denied his office called other state premiers before the Games cancellation was announced last week to tell them not to take it on.


"Whoever is putting that around, that's taking conspiracy theories to a new level," he said.


"There was, I think, a consistency in the response of other first ministers on that day - all that speaks to is the fact that $6b is too much for the Commonwealth Games."


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