Documents Unveils Federal Funding In Victorian Commonwealth Games Bid

The Victorian government assumed it would receive more than $200 million in federal funding when it was bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, despite no official commitments being made. 

The revelations come amidst calls for an independent review of the Andrews government’s budget, raising concerns about the accuracy of its calculations.

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On Saturday, Premier Daniel Andrews said taxpayers would bear a cost of $380 million due to the cancellation of the Games. 

The original business indicated that in January 2022, when the document was drafted, officials had estimated federal funding between $205 million and $217 million. 

This assumption was based on historical Commonwealth contributions to past events, such as the Gold Coast Games in 2018 and Melbourne’s 2006 Games.

“Based on advice from DJPR, we have assumed that the federal government will fund 50 per cent of the capital expenditure for venues in the best case, while the amount assumed in the worst case has been agreed with DJPR,” said in the document.

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Discussions around federal contributions increased after the commitment of funds for the Brisbane Olympics in 2032. However, this year’s budget did not allocate money for the event in Victoria.

“We tested all those assumptions, we looked at different ways in which we might deliver the Games, we looked at different ways in which we might reduce the costs,” Mr Andrews said.

“You can make these Games cheaper, but as they become cheaper, you get less benefit.”

The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office and a parliamentary inquiry are investigating the circumstances of the Games’ cancellation.

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