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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Not at any cost: Australia’s Victoria pulls out as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games

The government initially budgeted Aus $2.6bn ($1.8bn) to stage the Games in five regional cities but recent estimates put the potential cost as high as Aus $7bn ($4.8bn)

Our Bureau And Agencies Melbourne Published 19.07.23, 09:57 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Australia’s Victoria state has withdrawn as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games because of a blowout in projected costs.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday said his government last year agreed to host the next edition of the multi-sports event, “but not at any cost.”

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He said his government initially budgeted Aus $2.6bn ($1.8bn) to stage the Games in five regional cities but recent estimates put the potential cost as high as Aus $7bn ($4.8bn).

Andrews told a news conference he’d notified the Commonwealth Games organisers of his government’s decision to pull out of the hosting contract.

“Today is not about finding fault with those cost estimates,” he said, declining to outline the reasons for the cost blowouts. “Frankly, AU$6-AU$7 billion for a 12-day sporting event, we are not doing that — that does not represent value for money, that is all costs and no benefit.”

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) issued a statement saying it was taking advice on its options.

The CGF said the estimated cost escalation was mainly due to the regional, multi-city host model and the Victoria government’s decision to change plans for venues and include more sports.

“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,” the CGF statement said.

AP/PTI

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