18 July 2023

More Homes As Well As Sports Upgrades In Geelong

With significant planning work and extensive market soundings completed, it is now certain that the cost of hosting the Regional Victorian Commonwealth Games will exceed $6 billion – more than twice the estimated economic benefit the Games would bring our state.

In the face of these numbers, the Victorian Government has made the decision not to proceed with hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

When the Commonwealth Games needed a host city to step in at the last minute, we were willing to help – but not at any price, and not without a big lasting benefit for regional Victoria.

Now the choice couldn’t be clearer – $6 billion is just too much.

The main reason we agreed to host the Games was to deliver lasting benefits in housing, tourism and sporting infrastructure in places like Geelong.

That’s why the Victorian Government will deliver a comprehensive $2 billion package to ensure regional Victoria still receives all the benefits that would have been facilitated by the Games. Local councils will not be expected to financially contribute to the package.

Every one of the permanent new and upgraded sporting infrastructure projects planned as part of the Games will still proceed – and all will be completed as planned.

Now, instead of building temporary features for the Games competitions, we’ll be able to get on with constructing the final form of these projects – meaning locals will get access to new and upgraded venues sooner than waiting for the Games to be completed.

For Geelong that means a new indoor sporting complex at Waurn Ponds – a multipurpose sports centre with six courts, regional-level gymnastics and dance studio and car parking.

In Armstrong Creek we’re building a new aquatics centre with a civic plaza, an enclosed swimming pool, four indoor recreational sports courts, and car parking.

Banyul-Warri Fields in Torquay will get a new training pitch and permanent seating and Stead Park – the home of Geelong Hockey – will see upgrades to their pavilion, a new pitch and new seating.

We know there’s no more important issue anywhere in the state right now than housing. That’s why, ahead of the Housing Statement to be released later this year, we will provide a new $1 billion Regional Housing Fund to deliver more than 1300 new homes across regional Victoria – including new permanent homes in Geelong for locals, not visiting athletes.

The new homes will include a mix of social and affordable housing – and we’ll work with councils, regional partnerships and local communities to determine the right mix of stock and locations for each region, including in Geelong.

Tourism is a vital part of the regional economy and a new $150 million Regional Tourism and Events Fund will ensure our regions have the best of everything on offer with new events, new attractions and more accommodation coming to Geelong.

Consultation with the community has already begun, with more feedback from the local community wanted in coming days and weeks about how Geelong can get the most out of the $2 billion regional package.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We were pleased to be asked to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games – but not at any price. I think all Victorians would agree that more than $6 billion for a 12-day sporting event just doesn’t make sense.”

“The Geelong community has told us that more places to live and more places to stay across regional Victoria is what really matters – so that’s exactly what we’ll deliver.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan

“Whether it’s new venues at Armstrong Creek and Waurn Ponds or many other smaller projects across the State, every one of the permanent new and upgraded sports facilities will be delivered.”

“We know how hard it is to find affordable housing in so many parts of regional Victoria – that’s why we’ll deliver more than 1300 new homes with a $1 billion Regional Housing Fund.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy Harriet Shing

“We’ll deliver all the housing, sports infrastructure and tourism legacy benefits for our regions – but without the massive extra cost of hosting the Games.”

“Communities are really enthusiastic about the local projects and outcomes they want to see, and we’ll be sitting down with the Geelong community in the coming weeks to plan the next steps for all of these projects to ensure locals have their say.”

Quotes attributable to Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman MP 

"The government will deliver on the promised sporting facilities and housing for the South Barwon electorate and Geelong region. This includes a new indoor sporting complex at Waurn Ponds, an aquatics centre for Armstrong Creek, and improvements to Banyul-Warri Fields and Stead Park."

"Delivering housing, tourism, and sporting infrastructure across regional Victoria was always our main motivation to host the Games. The Victorian Government will deliver a comprehensive $2 billion package to ensure regional Victoria receives all the benefits that would have been facilitated by the Games - and more with funding for 1300 new homes and a new regional tourism and events fund."