Australia’s bid to host the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games is heating up with western Sydney and regional Victoria pushing to win the rights to hold the event.
Western Sydney leaders began their audacious bid on Friday as the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue made its pitch at the Out There Summit in Parramatta to bring the Games west.
It came just a few weeks after 11 regional Victorian towns floated their potential bid for the 2030 games.
Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive officer Craig Phillips says the body is yet to consult with the potential bidding teams but he’s “thrilled” to see such enthusiasm.
A decision on host cities for the 2026 and 2030 Games will not be made for a several years, but Mr Phillips said he expected an incredible amount of domestic and international competition for the right to host.
The idea has been well received by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who said at the summit that if the case stacked up, she would “definitely” consider it.
“I love the thought of greater Sydney, especially western Sydney, being the events capital of the region,” she said.
“I’m always open to those suggestions.”
Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue chairman Christopher Brown said the idea was a “no brainer”.
The region has “everything in place” to make it a success including a rich sporting culture and ready facilities, he said.
“It’s no cost for a major event because 90 per cent of the venues are already built,” Mr Brown told AAP.
“All we need is the new athletes’ village, which is a great opportunity to renew existing public housing estates in the region.”
ANZ Stadium, the main stadium for the 2000 Sydney Olympics is to be reconfigured into a rectangular ground, potentially making it too small for an athletics track.
Mr Brown said if Western Sydney did secure the games, it would help ensure the region’s infrastructure was up to date.
“I’m confident the city will deliver the infrastructure in time,” Mr Brown said.
The leadership group wants the premier to set up an exploratory committee and develop a business case for a possible bid for the 2026 or 2030 games.
“We don’t think regional Victoria has nearly the appeal that this region presents and would cost taxpayers much more money,” Mr Brown said.
The city of Shepparton is heading a bid by 11 regional Victorian towns, also including Geelong and Ballarat, to host the 2030 Games.