February 16, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The state government in Victoria has entered into an exclusive negotiation period with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia to bring the 2026 Commonwealth Games to regional Victoria.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement this morning.

“Exclusively the organisers and the owners of the Commonwealth Games will work with us as we determine the costs and benefits of hosting the games and we work through the details involved in putting in a bid,” said Andrews.

“We have all that is needed to make an event like this a fantastic success for us and for everybody right across the Commonwealth.”

Andrews said it would not be a rerun of the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne.

“Our vision is for this to be predominantly a regional Victorian event. It’s about taking this amazing competition across many, many different sports into regional cities and towns. Jobs, tourism visitors, economic activity but also amazing legacy benefits – housing, skills and training, community facilities, sporting facilities as well as…a big festival that would go alongside these 2026 Games.

“Our vision for this is a Games like no other. And that’ll be great for regional Victoria, great for the state, for jobs, for investment, for confidence.

“This is all about making sure that we have a jam-packed calendar of big events to bring visitors, to create jobs, to underpin confidence and to make sure that we’re not just talking about recovering and rebuilding, we’re getting on and getting that job done.”

Andrews said there would be “a lot of hard work” over the next few months to refine the costs and benefits of hosting the event for the state as well as negotiations with the Commonwealth Games Federation around how the Games would work.

Andrews said he saw the event not as a cost but as “a profound investment in tourism, in jobs and in regional Victoria”.