BREAKING: Comm Games axed by state govt

REGIONAL Victoria will no longer hold the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the state government withdrawing its hosting rights.

The shock announcement was made at a press conference by Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery, Jacinta Allan, and the Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy, Harriett Shing on Tuesday morning.

Mr Andrews indicated that cost was a deciding factor in the event’s cancellation.

“What’s become clear is that the cost of hosting these games in 2026 is not the $2.6 billion which was budgeted and allocated… it is in fact at least $6 billion, and could be as high as $7 billion, and I cannot stand here and say to you that I have any confidence that that even $7 billion number would appropriately and adequately fund these games,” Mr Andrews said.

“Six to seven billion dollars 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 Commonwealth Games were originally due to take place in from March 17 to March 29, 2026, spread across five regional hubs: Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton and Gippsland.

Five events were scheduled to take place in Gippsland, those being Badminton, Rugby Sevens, Cricket, Road Cycling and Shooting.

 

UPDATE, 10.50am: The government has confirmed that $2 billion worth of funding set aside for the Games will still be spent.

Upgrades for sporting venues originally scheduled to host the games are planned, including Ted Summerton Reserve in Moe.

A Regional Housing Fund worth $1 billion has been promised, aiming to deliver more than 1300 new homes across regional Victoria.

Additionally, a $150 million Regional Tourism and Events Fund will provide money to promote new events, new attractions and more accommodation.

More to come.