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  • Dan Crouch

Victoria to back out of hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games

Victoria will not host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Picture: James Ross.

The Dan Andrews Government will today announce that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will not go ahead in regional Victoria as scheduled.

Sam Groth, Liberal member for Nepean and shadow minister for tourism, sports and events expressed confidence to Flow FM that The Commonwealth Games would go ahead and be delivered to a high standard despite potential environmental contamination at the Ballarat saleyards, a site for one of the athlete's village which would become legacy housing infrastructure.

"I think what you're going to see is the games go ahead... we've got a high standard of delivering world class events in this state."

"The big point of putting these Games out in regional areas was to leave a legacy."

"Our goal is to present an alternative come 2026. And while the Commonwealth Games is a long way off, we've got to keep making sure that it's done properly, because while it might not be front of mind for those people at the moment, I guarantee when the event comes in the late of 2026 and then post, they'll certainly be seeing whether it was done properly or not."

Sam Groth also spoke about the soil at the Ballarat saleyards and the potential work that would have to go into preparing the site to host the athlete's village.

"With less than 1,000 days now to go until those games, the question is, can that soil be remediated? How much has to be excavated and disposed of somewhere else to be able to actually have infill or the site maintained or remediated to a level that this housing can be built on, not just in terms of portable housing... but for that long-term housing, is it viable? One, for athletes to stay on there for the period of the Games, and then two, for people to live on long-term, is probably what the big question mark is at the moment."

Peter Walsh, Nationals member for Murray Plains, also spoke to Flow FM and expressed a lack of confidence.

"I think the progress is way behind time and there's a real concern by the local government areas where the Commonwealth Games are going to be housed. The local government will have a contribution. That was never talked about when the games were first promoted. It was about they would be fully funded by the state government and as I said would leave legacy infrastructure projects be it housing, be it sporting facilities after for the benefit of the community and perpetuity. The closer we get to the games that reality is getting further."

More to come.


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