Bev McArthur CWG2026

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will take place in Victoria, regional Victoria to be precise. But the arrangements for the sports extravaganza and the funding for it is being closely monitored by the state Opposition. Its upper house MP for Western Victoria and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Road Safety Bev McArthur isn’t happy with many things the government is doing.

According to the Member for Western Victoria and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Road Safety Bev McArthur, the Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy, Harriet Shing, and the Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery, Jacinta Allan, both failed to provide specific answers to a range of questions about the Games during a recent sitting of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, PAEC.

Mrs McArthur claims the PAEC hearings have revealed that the Ballarat athletes’ village which will host 1800 athletes on a currently contaminated site, will be a temporary structure, which will be taken away once the games are over.

According to Mrs McArthur, the unstipulated cost of the remediation of the site will come out of the $2.6 billion being spent on the Games.

“During PAEC, the best Minister Allan could confirm was that work was ongoing to determine the type of contamination at the site,” Mrs McArthur said.

Mrs McArthur says she directly asked the Minister what the costings were for the rehabilitation of the Ballarat site and the Minister’s reply was: “That is factored into the overall cost of the delivery of the villages across the program.”

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“In other words, the cost of choosing this deplorable industrial site with its 100-plus years of contamination, means that only tow-away temporary homes can be afforded there. This is not the legacy Ballarat was sold,” Mrs McArthur said.

Minister Allan told PAEC: “Each of the village sites will have a different mix of permanent and temporary facilities on each site.”

Minister Allan went on to argue that the area would later become a place for permanent housing.

Mrs McArthur queried that statement given the degree of remediation seemed inappropriate for permanent structures for Commonwealth Games athletes, but good enough for locals afterwards.

“Well, it would be terrible if you actually put people on a site that they should not be on,” Mrs McArthur said to which Minister Allan replied “No, we would not do that.”

After this year’s budget was handed down, the state Opposition has been claiming the requisite funding needed to deliver world class games had not been allocated and thus anticipated troubles in delivery of games without any problems.

The state Opposition claims the regional councils have been left in the dark and a significant pipeline of works in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Morwell remain without any secure funding or clarity.

Shadow Minister for the Commonwealth Games, David Southwick, said: “Under Labor, Victoria is broke and we cannot expect to deliver a world-class event when there’s no money in the budget just three years out.

“Life is getting harder in Victoria, and the Commonwealth Games is a once in a generation chance to invest and grow regional Victoria.

“The Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan must provide certainty to regional Victorian residents and councils by delivering a fully funded Games.”

It was in light of this background the Opposition’s Bev McArthur, member for Western Victoria and Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Road Safety, who is a member of the Public Accounts Estimates Committee (PAEC) used her position as a member of the PAEC to get some answers.

Cost of the Games

The Opposition wanted to know how much of the $2.6 billion cost of the 2026 Commonwealth Games will go to infrastructure and how much will be assigned to the running of the event itself.

Minister Shing confirmed that the $2.6 billion is “…for the entire games.”

Bev McArthur says the Minister was unable to provide what the funding split would be and what financial contribution has been requested of the Commonwealth Government.

The Games are being hosted by five regional cities – with local councils for Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland and Shepperton and expected to pay for part of the hosting duties.

According to Mrs McArthur the local councils – some already in big debt – can’t afford the Government’s handballing of Games’ duties and costs.

Mrs McArthur put it to Minister Shing that the Geelong and Ballarat councils had already indicated that they are financially stretched and will be unable to afford contributions. She told the Minister that the Geelong Council had a deficit of $8 million this year and has pulled $80 million out of community projects and needs to find $4.5 million more in cuts to balance the books.

The 2026 Commonwealth Games extravaganza will showcase 20 Sports, 9 Para-sports over 25 Venues and 5 Games Cities in Victoria.

We are just under three years out from the opening ceremony on 17 March 2026.

More to come.

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