Comm Games could be pushed to 2027 to find new host

Pulling the pin on Victoria's Commonwealth Games cost the state more than $589 million.

Pulling the pin on Victoria's Commonwealth Games cost the state more than $589 million. Photo: AAP

The Commonwealth Games could be pushed back a year to allow an Australian host to salvage the event after Victoria pulled the plug on it.

Organisers are busy working on a “final solution” for the event, Commonwealth Games Australia told a Senate inquiry into the Andrews government’s decision to cancel the games.

Chief executive Craig Phillips said the Commonwealth Games Federation, the international body overseeing the games, was open to delaying the games until 2027 to give any potential host more time to prepare.

But what form the event takes is yet to be decided, with the potential for a scaled-back games or a co-hosting arrangement with another country, like New Zealand, still on the cards.

“We need to make sure that the games match the host, and not the other way round,” Mr Phillips said on Friday.

“So it’ll be a tailored solution.

“From our perspective, we need a games for our athletes, so whatever the final solution is, from our perspective, will be satisfactory.”

In July, Premier Daniel Andrews announced Victoria had withdrawn from hosting duties for the 2026 Games because estimated costs had blown out to as much as $7 billion.

It was recently agreed the state would pay organisers $380 million in compensation.

Mr Phillips hopes to have a solution in place by November, when the Commonwealth Games general assembly meets in Singapore.

But opposition sport spokeswoman Anne Ruston hit out at a lack of urgency by the organising committee after revelations it had yet to meet with any federal ministers, nor the premiers of potential hosts Queensland and Western Australia.

“I’d really like to know when you’re going to get that fire in your belly and start getting out there,” she said.

“I’m not feeling it from you that there’s a great deal of urgency or enthusiasm from you about getting this thing rolling.”

Mr Phillips insisted despite appearances, the urgency is certainly there.

“Without belabouring the point, we’re not rushing to a ‘no’,” he said.

“We do have to make sure we’re ready.

“Right now in the marketplace there’s a price tag of six to seven billion dollars – we have to take the time to actually dismantle that.”

Senator Ruston decried a lack of engagement from the Commonwealth despite the fact that Australia as a whole will suffer the consequences of the Victorian government’s decision.

Mr Phillips said the view from overseas is that it is a “national problem” for Australia to deal with.

“It’s not a Victorian problem, there’s no distinction,” he said.

“People see this as Australia finding a solution.”


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