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Gina Rinehart backs push to salvage 2026 Commonwealth Games: Report

Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart will use her influence to help salvage the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart will use her influence to help salvage the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Photo: AAP/Getty/TND

Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart is reportedly throwing her support behind the Gold Coast’s push to salvage the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Australia’s richest person is expected to join forces with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate who wants to host the dumped Games on the Glitter Strip.

The Herald Sun reports that the wealthy philanthropist won’t bankroll the sporting extravaganza which Mayor Tate estimates could cost about $1 billion.

But News Corp writes that she has offered to do whatever else she can to help the city secure the event which was dumped by Victoria last month.

The plan has reportedly received fresh public support from Swimming Queensland, Volleyball Australia and Artistic Swimming Australia.

Mrs Rinehart’s spokesman told The Herald Sun that she would be backing the Gold Coast bid.

“Having seen the joy that athletes and their families experienced when competing in front of a home crowd for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mrs Rinehart would certainly welcome the 2026 event to again be held in Australia, especially at the Gold Coast, where it was run so successfully before,” her spokesman said.

Premier Daniel Andrews stunned the sporting world last month after he unceremoniously dumped the Games over a forecast cost blowout of up to $4.4 billion, having initially budgeted $2.6b for the 12-day event.

Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips pointed to the possibility money recouped could go towards the costs for a stand-in host.

“It could be that some of that compensation is then used to offset cost of a future cost of a replacement in 2026,” Mr Phillips said on Friday.

“A bit more certainty about what compensation looks like will help in terms of the discussions with future hosts.”

Mayor Tate’s bid to return the Games to the Gold Coast, which played host in 2018, does not have the backing of the State or Federal governments.

Victoria’s auditor-general is working to determine the costs associated with securing, planning for and exiting the Games, along with assessing the quality of relevant advice to government.

Victoria’s decision to withdraw also played a big part in Alberta, Canada, pulling its support for the 2030 bid centred around Calgary/Edmonton.

“We believe the recent decision by the Victorian government to withdraw from the 2026 Commonwealth Games was a significant factor in Alberta’s decision, as well as an over-dependence on taxpayer’s support for the planning and delivery of the Games,” said Commonwealth Sport Canada.

The decision was another blow for the embattled Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) after Hamilton, which hosted the inaugural Games in 1930, suspended its bid.

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