November 2, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Artist impression of the Northshore Hamilton development vision | Source: Northshore Hamilton website

The Victorian Government is investing another $292 million in Commonwealth Games infrastructure in Geelong, while Queensland continues on its development pathway for the Olympic athlete village site at Northshore Hamilton.

Almost $300 million invested in new Commonwealth Games sporting facilities

In Victoria, the state government will fund a new aquatics centre in Armstrong Creek and a gymnastics and weight lifting venue at Waurn Ponds, both suburbs of Geelong.

Following the Commonwealth Games in 2026, the two facilities will be turned over as community sports venues, with the pool remaining and the centre at Waurn Ponds to host seven multi-sport courts, a dance studio, and a regional-level gymnastics hub.

A Commonwealth Games village for 2,500 athletes and officials will also be built at Waurn Ponds. The village will be designed in consultation with the community and the area’s Traditional Owners, with the result to celebrate the local Wadawurrung people.

“Tens of thousands of people will come to Geelong for Victoria 2026, and we’re investing in the world-class housing and sporting infrastructure that will benefit not only Games delivery but the community for years to come,” said Victoria’s minister for Commonwealth Games delivery Jacinta Allan.

Geelong is also set to host the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony at Kardinia Park, with the state having already committed $142 million to upgrading the stadium, including increasing its capacity from 36,000 seats to over 40,000.

“Kardinia Park is the premier sporting facility in regional Victoria, and it’s the perfect place to host the Closing Ceremony for Victoria 2026,” said the member for Geelong Christine Couzens.

Amendments to development plans for future Olympic athletes village site

In Queensland, the state government has several amendments to development plans for North Shore Hamilton, which is set for major renewal as a riverfront precinct and is also set to host the athletes’ village for the Brisbane Olympic Games in 2032.

At 304ha, North Shore Hamilton is the largest urban renewal project currently underway in Queensland.

“An additional 1.2 kilometres of this prime waterfront location will be transformed into a vibrant, mixed-use precinct for the community,” said the state’s deputy premier and planning minister Steven Miles.

“It will be one of the biggest contributions of Brisbane riverfront parkland since South Bank was established.

“A new commercial heart will be located along Macarthur Avenue to take advantage of increased foot traffic and maximise the invaluable new riverside parkland.

“This development will cement Northshore as a world-class lifestyle, recreation and events destination,” he said.

“These changes also provide for the future planning of the Athlete Village for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games – and the long-term economic and community benefits to follow.

“This city-shaping project presents an incredible opportunity to showcase Brisbane’s iconic waterfront to the world and deliver a long-lasting legacy for the state.”

As the athletes’ village, the precinct will host 10,000 athletes and team officials for the Olympic Games and 5,000 Paralympians and officials during the Paralympics.

“Following the Games, the Athlete Village will convert to housing and commercial property, providing more than 1750 apartments, along with commercial and retail space,” said Miles.