Daniel Andrews could be called to give evidence before a federal parliamentary committee in the wake of the cancelled Commonwealth Games.
The Victorian Premier shocked the world by ripping up the contract for the international sporting event last week after internal figures estimated cost of staging the event had risen to $7bn.
Federal opposition infrastructure spokeswoman Bridget McKenzie confirmed the Senate committee examining Australia’s preparedness to host Commonwealth and Olympic Games had agreed to reopen submissions following the decision.
The senator said it would grant stakeholders who wanted to “set the record straight” to provide the committee with the most up to date information.
“We know that there are now a lot of people that have a unique perspective on what went wrong, where and why,” the Victorian senator told Sky News.
“When was this decision taken? What are the financial implications? They are the sorts of questions we need to be asking as a senate inquiry on behalf of federal taxpayers.
“The sovereign risk of this decision by Daniel Andrews has wide ranging implications far beyond the Commonwealth Games.”
A number of hearings in Brisbane, Geelong and Bendigo have already been set down for late August but it’s understood the committee could agree to add more dates down the line.
Premiers and ministers cannot be compelled to appear but could accept a formal invitation from the committee to give evidence.
But the Nationals frontbencher said Mr Andrews should take up the offer and “actually submit himself to accountability and transparency measures”.
“If he really backs his decision. This is his opportunity to show the wider Australian public why he made the right decision,” Senator McKenzie said.
Mr Andrews said he wouldn’t be “dealing with completely hypothetical matters” when asked on Tuesday if he’d appear before the committee.
“I haven’t received an invitation .. there’s a negotiation going on, and we’ll appropriately respect that,” the Premier said.
Victorian taxpayers are no closer to finding out how much the cancelled contract will cost. Government lawyers flew home from London without striking a deal with the Commonwealth Games Federation.
The Premier said last week said he had made “a lot of difficult decisions in this job” but cancelling the games was “not one of them”.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley previously called on Australia’s sporting stars to boycott and refuse photo opportunities with Labor MPs to protest the Victorian government’s decision.
But athletes snubbed the call on Tuesday, attending a press conference with Sports Minister Anika Wells to announce an additional $20m commitment ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Olympians Anabelle Smith and Nathan Hart, and Paralympians Madison De Rozario, Jed Altschwager and Sam von Einem all appeared alongside Ms Wells for happy snaps.
Four-time Paralympian Madison De Rozario said the support would allow athletes the best shot at representing Australia at the Paris Games.
“There is nothing like representing Australia at a Paralympic Games and to have been able to do it for so many years has been an absolute privilege,” she said.
“Knowing our athletes have so much support to allow us to do it all again in Paris is incredible.”
Asked about the Commonwealth Games decision, Ms Wells said it was a “disappointing outcome” but her focus was on supporting the athletes.
“I hope that today demonstrates the federal government’s commitment is really to invest in people in our sport,” she told reporters in Adelaide.