Gina Rinehart throws support behind bold plan for Perth and the Gold Coast to co-host 2026 Commonwealth Games
Article by Bryant Hevesi courtesy of Sky News.
Gina Rinehart has backed in a bold plan for the 2026 Commonwealth Games after Australia’s reputation was dealt a “huge blow” when Daniel Andrews pulled the pin on Victoria hosting the event.
Perth and the Gold Coast would co-host the 2026 Commonwealth Games under a bold plan which has the support of Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart.
Organisers are currently scrambling to find a new location for the event after then-premier Daniel Andrews in July tore up plans for Victoria to host the sporting spectacle.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and his Perth counterpart Basil Zempilas have previously indicated a desire for their respective cities to come to the rescue of the games.
Now, Ms Rinehart has reportedly brought the two mayors together to thrash out a unique proposal for the two-week event across Queensland and Western Australia.
Under the plan, the Gold Coast – which last held the games in 2018 – would play host to the first week of the program which would include sports such as swimming.
The second week would be held more than 4,000km away in Perth, with sports such as athletics taking place in the city which has not delivered the games since 1962.
A joint letter from Ms Rinehart, Mr Tate and Mr Zempilas was this week sent to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese seeking his backing, The Australian reported.
“We believe that a coast-to-coast games presents a special opportunity to showcase Australia and provides an excellent background for you to invite those heads of the Commonwealth you may wish to have further discussions with, and/ or entertain,” the letter said.
The letter added the Victorian government’s withdrawal from 2026 hosting duties “was disappointing and a huge blow to Australia’s reputation and to our athletes”.
“We believe that saving the Commonwealth Games via a dual-city approach would be popular and in the national interest,” it continued.
“And would not only bring huge benefits to our athletes and cities, but also excitement and lasting advantages to our nation.”
The Perth and the Gold Coast event would also act as a “live run-through” for the 2032 Olympic Games which will be held in Brisbane, as well as some venues on the Gold Coast.
Existing facilities in the two cities would be used for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, according to the proposal.
The letter comes after both Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Western Australia Premier Roger Cook ruled out supporting a games bid in their states.
The 2026 event was to be held in five regional Victoria areas – Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Gippsland.
The Victorian government last year budgeted $2.6 billion for the games but Mr Andrews said that costs had blown out to between $6 to $7 billion.
Victorian taxpayers have since been forced to fork out $380 million in compensation for cancelling the hosting contract.