Premier Jacinta Allan must explain the background behind the Commonwealth Games cancellation debacle, the Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad said today.
A Parliamentary inquiry into the cancellation of the Games is due to begin public hearings next week.
The inquiry will look at the background to the cancellation, including the advice provided to government. It will also examine the impacts of the Games cancellation on Victoria’s reputation and the state’s business and tourism sectors.
“Jacinta Allan must front up to that inquiry, answer the questions and be held to account for what they failed to deliver in regional Victoria,” Ms Broad said.
Ms Broad said regional Victoria had been taken for a ride by the government.
She was appalled to find the Government had planned to cancel the Games far earlier than their public announcement on July 18.
“We were told that the Commonwealth Games would be great for the regions. Now we find out that long before they were cancelled the government knew they needed a lot more funding for the games, and the premier sat on that information,” Ms Broad said.
“The Labor Government hired lawyers specifically to manage the withdrawal from the Games in June – five weeks earlier than the announcement.
“Ms Allan was the Minister responsible for Commonwealth Games Delivery, and it’s clear they planned to cancel the Games weeks beforehand – not hours prior to the announcement, as claimed.
“We are also still waiting for details on the so-called legacy projects.”
Ms Broad raised concerns in Parliament about the exorbitant level of waste that the cancellation had caused – on top of the ballooning costs now facing the state.
“The compensation costs for the Games alone are $380 million. Now we have a $1.2 million legal bill on top of it.
“Regional Victorians deserve answers and to restore transparency in Government, the new Premier must appear before the inquiry into the Commonwealth Games cancellation.”
The inquiry will take submissions until October 23. It is due to provide an interim report to Parliament by 30 April 2024 and a final report is due by April 2025. For more information visit the committee’s website Submissions (parliament.vic.gov.au)
Photo caption: Sign of the times – Bendigo showgrounds was touted as a future home of Commonwealth Games events.
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