Billionaire Gina Rinehart has thrown her support behind Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate’s bid to bring the 2026 Commonwealth Games to the East Coast after Victoria’s shock decision to cancel.
Rinehart has not pledged direct financial help, but her public support alongside similar calls by Swimming Queensland, Volleyball Australia and Artistic Swimming Australia has put some added vigour in the potential bid.
“Having seen the joy that athletes and their families experienced when competing in front of a home crowd for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mrs Rinehart would certainly welcome the 2026 event to again be held in Australia, especially at the Gold Coast, where it was run so successfully before,” a spokesman for the billionaire said.
Tate welcomed Rinehart’s support saying it “sends a clear message: we must show what we are capable of as a country”.
“The Aussie athletes deserve it, as does every young kid who dreams of representing their country,” he said. “The momentum behind a 2026 Gold Coast Games is growing.”
The Gold Coast held the Commonwealth Games in 2014, with Tate saying the city could host it again in 2026 for around a billion dollars.
“Every news poll has shown overwhelming support – and the irony is that we are not even asking for additional funds from the Federal Government; I simply want the Federal Treasurer to redirect the funds they had planned for Vic2026 to us,” he told the Courier Mail.
“We will take it from there and I’m well advised that if we do manage to save the 2026 Games, the Commonwealth Games Federation may reconsider its legal action against the state of Victoria. That alone could save Victorian taxpayers up to $900 million in costs for the contract breach.”