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
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) (pictured, Australian women’s cricket). Team in Birmingham, 2022)
Victoria was awarded the right to host the 2026 event without any of the 70 nations of the Commonwealth Games Federation raising their hand.
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.
Despite being pressed several times, Mr Andrews would not reveal the cost of abandoning the Games, but said it would be ‘fully calculated’ at a later date.
He said, ‘So far very little has been spent’.
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.
‘I’m not going to negotiate with the Commonwealth Games authorities through the media in Melbourne, when I’ve got a group of people doing just that in London,’ he said, frustrated by media questions.
Mr Andrews said he had informed Commonwealth Games authorities that the state would seek to cancel the contract.
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.’
Read more: Why Victoria’s Covid lockdown debt is an economic disaster
Team Australia poses with their medals after the men’s final hockey match at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.
Commonwealth Games staff were reportedly called for an emergency meeting after an emergency meeting of the government’s expenditure review committee – senior ministers who discuss budget decisions – 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.
The Commonwealth Games have never been cancelled, with strict exceptions during the Second World War.
Mr Andrews has tried to combat Victoria’s mounting debt by raising taxes on businesses, property owners and private schools to pay off the state’s $31.5 billion Covid debt during the pandemic.
It has been described as Melbourne’s economic hangover in September 2021 when it becomes the most locked-down city with 267 days of restrictions.
Victoria is a basket case of economic debt compared to the rest of Australia, making Melbourne the world’s most locked-down city in a state without an asset (pictured by Bourke Street July 2021).
Delivering his ninth budget, State Treasurer Tim Pallas announced a well-off two-part ‘Covid Debt Levy’ – targeting landlords and businesses to raise $8.6 billion over four financial years. It will run till 2033.
It will be felt by future taxpayers who are still in primary school and by their parents now Labor withdraws payroll tax exemptions for 110 private schools, which could lead to higher fees.
Businesses with a turnover of more than $10 million will pay more payroll tax while the tax-free threshold is being raised from $700,000 to $900,000.
A new levy will be imposed on 860,000 landlords, holiday home and commercial property owners.
The government’s net debt was projected to be $171.4 billion by 2026-27, up from $39 billion in 2019-20, based on an adjustment for pandemic measures and transport infrastructure costs.
Timeline of 2026 Commonwealth Games
March 2017 – Durban pulled out of 2022 Commonwealth Games after failing to meet original deadline
December 2017 – Birmingham is named as the replacement host for the 2022 Games instead of the 2026 Games
February 2022 – Victoria makes exclusive bid to host Games
April 2022 – Regional Victoria awards the Games, the first not hosted by a city
May 2022 – The Victorian Government allocates $2.6 billion to the Games
June 2022 – Former Victorian Covid-19 response commander Jeroen appointed chief executive of the Weimar Games organizing committee
Event dates locked in July 2022 – February-March 2026
August 2022 – Former Richmond Football Club President Peggy O’Neill announced as President of the Games Organizing Committee
October 2022 – The full list of games for the Games has been released
March 2023 – Former swimmer Petraia Thomas reappointed as Australia’s chef de mission for the April 2023 Games – Greater Geelong City says it will spend about $8 million on the event
May 2023 – No money allocated for the Games in the federal budget
May 2023 – Tenders for construction of sports venue start going out
July 2023 – The Victorian Government announces that it will no longer host the Games because they will be too expensive
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