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Com Games goes bush: Aussie Premier secures exclusive deal to take event to regional areas in 2026

Australian athletes walk arounds during the Opening Ceremony for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 4, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
16th February, 2022
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Victoria is expected to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games with state Premier Daniel Andrews confirming his government is in exclusive negotiations with the organising body.

The Victorian government has entered a two-month negotiation period to host the Games, with Andrews saying it would primarily be an event hosted by regional Victoria.

“These will be games like no others and that will be great for regional Victoria, great for the state, for jobs, for investments, for confidence,” Andrews said on Wednesday.

Minister for Regional Development Marry-Anne Thomas added: “The flow-on benefits of this will be enormous when it comes to job creation, investment in our regions, the legacy benefits including housing will be very significant.”

The Victorian Government and the Commonwealth Games Federation will have two months to negotiate on the commercial aspects of the event.

Mr Andrews said while not a certainty, the government was confident they would secure the Games.

“This is not binding. If at the end of it we decide not to go forward, then we don’t go forward,” Andrews said.

“But we’re confident, we wouldn’t sign it if we didn’t think we could get an outcome.”

An alliance of 11 regional Victorian centres, including Shepparton, Bendigo, Geelong, Traralgon, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Nagambie, Wodonga and Yarrawonga had previously launched a campaign for Greater Victoria to host the 2030 games.

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Andrews said further infrastructure funding would be required for the regional locations.

“There would need to be further investments made and that’s how I see them, not as a cost,” he said.

“That infrastructure is then there as a lasting legacy.”

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