The federal government has offered support for Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate’s last ditch effort to rescue the 2026 Commonwealth Games on condition the Palaszczuk government gets behind the bid.
Tate is in Melbourne this week to present to a committee looking into preparations for the 2032 Queensland Olympic Games alongside Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas.
There seemed little chance of success when Tate first mooted the idea of the Gold Coast hosting the Games but the mood seems to be shifting with Perth now open to the idea of a jointly hosted event.
It was revealed that Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells wrote to Tate last week offering the federal government’s conditional support.
“As I am sure you are aware, the decision to host a major sporting event such as this is a matter for state and territory governments,” she stated in the letter.
“It is the host jurisdiction, not the Commonwealth Government, which enters into the required host contract with the Commonwealth Games Federation and is responsible for delivering the Games.
“As such, any potential alternative host city, or cities, would be for each jurisdiction to consider. Should support be forthcoming from the Queensland Government for the Gold Coast to bid to host the 2026 Games, the Commonwealth Government would be willing to consider such a proposal.”
Tate said he was “heartened to see Minister Wells is open minded”.
“I have immediately written to the Premier and asked her to reconsider her position,” he said. “The athletes and para-athletes are my primary concern along with the country’s reputation.
“I’m certain this can be done for under a billion which is just a fraction of the seven billion it blew out to in Victoria. With Federal Government and Commonwealth Games Federation support, we’re nearly there.”