Today’s Senate inquiry hearing into the Commonwealth Games debacle has revealed a massive
missed opportunity for local sports and athletes, The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad said.
Witnesses told the inquiry that there had been a lack of consultation with sporting organisations and
local sports groups – both before and after the Games were cancelled. There was also confusion over
the nature of the legacy projects promised for Bendigo.
Ms Broad said she felt for Bendigo and District Table Tennis Association president Gary Warnest, who
told the inquiry the axing of the Games was a major blow.
Mr Warnest said this was a missed opportunity to showcase table tennis; attract volunteers and
engage young people. It’s a growing sport, particularly in paralympics, as it’s accessible to everyone.
He also reported that the table tennis association had no direct contact from the State Government
at any stage of this process.
Ms Broad said the cycling community had found themselves in the same boat, with Auscycling
executive general manager Kipp Kaufmann saying cycling also received no consultation.
“They were told they would be getting a temporary velodrome in Bendigo – but there was no plan
for what the ongoing legacy of that would be,” Ms Broad said.
Athletics Australia director Steve Moneghetti told the inquiry that the infrastructure legacy is not just
for post-games, but very important in the lead up to them so athletes can train on home soil.
“The Commonwealth Games is a huge ‘pinnacle event’ – one step below the Olympics. Being able to
train and compete in Australia would have been extraordinary,” Ms Broad said.
“All of these opportunities have been lost because the State Government has bungled this process.
“I am grateful to my federal Nationals colleagues Senator Bridget McKenzie and Senator Matthew
Canavan for travelling to Bendigo to conduct the public hearing.”
Ms Broad said there was still time for people to make a submission to the State’s Upper House
Inquiry into the 2026 Games. A Select Committee of nine members, including three MPs each from
the Government, Opposition and crossbench has been set up to conduct the inquiry.
It will look at the impacts on Victoria’s reputation, business, tourism and major events, as well as on
sporting groups. The planned regional infrastructure and housing build will also be investigated.
The committee will hold public hearings, with an interim report due to Parliament by 30 April 2024. A
final report will be tabled by April 2025.
For more information and to make a submission visit: Submissions (parliament.vic.gov.au)
Photo caption: Athletics Australia Director Steve Moneghetti (left) and Auscycling Executive General Manager Kipp Kaufmann speak at today’s hearing.
Media Contact: Linda Barrow 0484 303 764 email@example.com