Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games – Ministerial Response

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Original constituency question from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

My question is for the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events. Will the minister please advise how hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games will benefit Ballarat and regional Victoria?

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will showcase regional Victoria’s key cities of Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo as well as other locations across the state. Thanks to decades of investment by state Labor governments as well as the announcement by the Treasurer of $2.6 billion in the budget, I am confident that regional Victoria will deliver an outstanding Commonwealth Games in 2026.

In Ballarat alone there has already been more than $38 million invested in the Ballarat major events precinct and more than $30 million for the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.

Hosting the games will further expand the capacity of regional Victoria to host major events, tourism, arts, culture and sport into the future as well as deliver important legacy outcomes for the community, including social housing upgrades and infrastructure. I look forward to hearing from the minister.

Response from the Hon Martin Pakula MP, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events (22 June 2022) –

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will take the state of Victoria to the world.

With a new model for the Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will deliver a unique experience for participants, officials, and fans, bringing global sport to four regional hubs, each with their own athletes’ village. The four regional hubs will be Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland.

It is estimated the 2026 Commonwealth Games will contribute more than $3 billion to Victoria’s economy and create more than 7,500 jobs in total.

Victoria 2026 will also invest significantly in community infrastructure, including housing and world-class sports facilities. This will leave a legacy of housing for the regions and modern sports infrastructure to encourage Victorians to get active and attract future major events.

With Ballarat officially announced as one of four regional hubs for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with plans to deliver this global sporting event.

Mars Stadium will host the athletics and para athletics competitions with the stadium set for an additional capacity of 8,400 seats.

Ballarat will also host boxing and T20 cricket, with the venues for each sport to be determined as part of the Games’ final sport programme.

Victoria 2026 will deliver significant economic and social benefits to the Ballarat region with up to 1,750 athletes and officials set to be housed in Ballarat’s athlete village.  The region will be left with a lasting legacy, with a proportion of the village to be converted into affordable and social housing.

Ballarat is also expected to benefit greatly from the influx of visitors and sporting fans travelling to watch the Games be played at Eureka Stadium and other venues across the region.

The new and upgraded infrastructure is not only about 2026 but also well beyond.

It’s about people in Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo and Gippsland having access to world class infrastructure for decades to come, more housing assisting businesses to attract the workforce they need and for regional Victoria to continue to secure major events.