Special Olympics World Games in doubt with lack of government funding

Special Olympics

Australia’s chance of hosting the Special Olympics World Games in 2027 may slip away in the coming weeks if government funding is not locked in soon.

Perth was favourite to host the Games in 2027 on the proviso of $95 million of government funding, split between the federal government ($45m) and state and local governments ($25m each).

The Special Olympics’ governing body needs funding agreements to be locked in before the end of July. But so far WA Premier Roger Cook has not shown much enthusiasm for coughing up the money.

“In 23/24 we will spend $1.3 billion on disability services for Western Australians and that’s our focus,” he said during a press conference to announcing Perth would host a series of Rugby 7’s games.

“Particularly as we’re starting to bed down the NDIS and as part of the review we think it’s important to focus upon disability services rather than these large celebrations.”

Cook also indicated that funding for the event had been declined from both the federal government and the City of Perth.

A cost benefit analysis conducted by EY, the same firm who ran the numbers on the Commonwealth Games, estimated the event would cost $136 million while bringing in $212 million of economic benefits including $86 million of tourism spend.