The mayor of the Gold Coast says his city is able to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after Victoria pulled the pin, saying it could turn “the Premier of Victoria’s lemon” into lemonade.
Mayor Tom Tate says he has “utmost confidence” his city would be able to put the sporting event together after Premier Dan Andrews announced the games would no longer host the 2026 games.
Mr Andrews said a huge costs blowout – adding up to roughly $4b – was to blame as it did not “represent value for money” for the state.
On Thursday Mr Tate said his city could put the games together – if the federal government chipped in with additional funding.
It would be the second time the city would host the games after the 2018 event was held on the Gold Coast.
“The Premier of Victoria’s lemon, the Gold Coast can turn that into lemonade because that’s how we roll,” Mr Tate told ABC News.
During a press conference he said the city was in a good position to host the games due to the right infrastructure already being in place.
But its success would depend on bipartisan support at a federal level, along with money provisioned for the games in Victoria being “reprovisioned” for the Gold Coast.
“Secondly, the state government can review that and make sure their costs are covered,” Mr Tate said.
“It’s a win-win for all.
“The facilities and the legacy facilities we’ve had here has been maintained to the highest level.
“We’ll make it work for the businesses to promote, the King’s Baton Relay … the economy has changed … we can highlight once more the Gold Coast is going leaps and bounds.”
Mr Tate said the event would give the city “momentum” in the lead-up to Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics.
Mr Andrews has faced criticism for his decision to cancel the 2026 event, which was due to be held across regional Victoria.
He said $2b set aside for the Commonwealth Games would instead go towards a package for affordable housing and community sport across the regions.
“I am not asking Victorian taxpayers to spend six or seven billion dollars on a 12-day sporting event,” he said on Wednesday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier this week ruled out the state taking over, saying the 2032 Olympics were the priority.
Originally published as ‘Turn Victoria’s lemon into lemonade’: Gold Coast mayor’s offer to host Comm Games, with a catch