Victorian taxpayers will be left with a whopping $380 million bill after negotiations over the cancelled Commonwealth Games are finalised.
The Andrews government confirmed on Saturday morning that is had reached the immense figure following negotiations with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia.
All disputes over the cancellation of the games have now been settled.
“In July 2023 the Victorian Government announced its decision to withdraw from hosting the 2026 Games,” a joint statement said.
“Following that decision, the affected parties have been involved in confidential good faith negotiations.”
“All parties engaged respectfully and made appropriate concessions in order to reach an agreement.
“The State of Victoria has agreed to pay the Commonwealth Games parties (CGF CGFP and CGA) AUD $380 million.
“The parties also agreed that the multi-hub regional model was more expensive to host than the traditional models.”
The statement went on to say that the settlement was “supported by the mediators” and that the terms of the arrangement will “otherwise remain confidential”.
The settlement finalises all matters between the parties.
Following the decision to cancel the games, former New Zealand Judge Kit Toogood, KC, and the former Chief Justice of the WA Supreme Court, Wayne Martin, KC, were appointed as joint mediators.
The Victorian Premier Dan Andrews shocked the world by ripping up the contract for the international sporting event back in July after internal figures estimated the cost of staging the event had risen to $7bn.
At the time, the Premier said he had made “a lot of difficult decisions in this job,” but cancelling the games was “not one of them”.
Social media exploded on Saturday morning with heated reactions from infuriated taxpayers over the news.
“Another lazy $380 million of scarce taxpayers’ funds entirely wasted,” Victorian barrister Andrew Laird wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
“It would be nice if governments did proper due diligence before committing taxpayers to fund things.”
“Victoria govt to pay $380 million compensation for scrapped Commonwealth Games,” another user wrote.
“Whoa. That is a lot of money to throw away when there is a homelessness crisis.”
“Dan Andrews again wasting our money,” one shared.
“How are we paying $380m to not host the games?”
More to come.