Why have the Commonwealth Games in Victoria been cancelled?
Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in regional Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the event has been cancelled.
The Victorian 2026 Commonwealth Games will be canceled due to funding issues.
The reason behind this move is finance.
The hosting rights for the 2026 event were awarded to regional Victoria last year after Birmingham replaced Durban in South Africa as host of the 2022 Games.
Victoria’s net debt of $116.7 billion this financial year is greater than the combined net debt of New South Wales ($78.4 billion), Queensland ($14.5 billion), South Australia ($19 billion) and Tasmania ($2.994 billion).
Western Australia’s net debt has fallen by $16 billion over the past six years to $27.9 billion, as rising iron ore royalties helped pay for the Covid disruption.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that his government would no longer support the Games as it was clear that costs would exceed $6 billion.
‘What has become clear is that the cost of hosting these games is not the 2.6 billion that was allocated, it is at least $6 billion or $7 billion,’ he said.
‘I will not take money from hospitals and schools to fund an event that is three times the cost of last year’s estimate and budget.’
Victoria has canceled hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to a funding crunch
The Commonwealth Games had never been canceled before, apart from World War II.
Mr Andrews said he had made many difficult decisions during his time in office.
“This is not one of them,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
‘Frankly, $6 to $7 billion for a 12-day sporting event, we’re not doing that. It does not represent value for money. All that cost and no gain.
‘We’re not going to spend $6 to $7 billion to host a 12-day sporting event.’
The Prime Minister said that delivering the Commonwealth Games ‘at any cost’ would take money away from the state’s hospitals, schools and roads.
It is unclear how much it will cost Victoria to break the deal.
The Commonwealth Games were scheduled to take place from March 17 to 29 in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton.
Promotional material said: ‘Victoria 2026 will showcase what makes the people of our state tick: our unity, our diversity, our sense of community, our welcoming spirit and our love of sport.’
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured on Tuesday) announced his government would no longer support the Games as it was clear the cost would exceed $6 billion.
Team Australia poses with their medals after the men’s final hockey match at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.
The Commonwealth Games staff were reportedly called for an emergency meeting early on Tuesday.
An emergency meeting of the government’s Expenditure Review Committee – senior ministers who discuss budget decisions – was held on Monday.
Late at night the full proposal was taken up in the cabinet.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas sought a dollar-for-dollar contribution from the federal government.
More to come.