Games cancellation inquiry held in Geelong

February 22, 2024 BY

City of Greater Geelong chief executive Ali Wastie was among the region's key stakeholders who appeared at the hearings. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

THE state parliamentary inquiry into the shock cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games held hearings with key stakeholders in Geelong last week.

The City of Greater Geelong was represented by chief executive Ali Wastie, while the Surf Coast Shire was represented by chief executive Robyn Seymour, mayor Liz Pattinson and economic development manager Matt Taylor.

Committee for Geelong’s Michael Johnston, Geelong Chamber of Commerce’s Jeremy Crawford and Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine’s Tracy Carter also appeared.

“Regional Victoria was going to be at the forefront of this event, so it’s vital we hear from the individuals and organisations impacted by the decision to cancel it,” committee chair David Limbrick said.

“We’ll also be assessing the adequacy of the government’s $2 billion regional infrastructure and housing build.”

Regional Victoria was confirmed as a host of the Commonwealth Games in April 2022, but the contract was terminated in July 2023 by the state government after costing forecasts blew out from an initial $2.6 billion to almost $7 billion.

The inquiry aims to investigate the affect the termination of the contract may have had on the state’s reputation and its business, tourism and major events sectors.

The impact of the cancellation on community sports is also a key focus.

The hearings were not broadcast live, and transcripts are yet to be made available to the public.