Though Melbourne successfully hosted the Games in 2006 and is the largest city in the state, it will reportedly not be included in plans for 2030. Instead, the regional cities and towns initially chosen to host events are Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon, Geelong, Shepparton, Warrnambool/Port Campbell, Mount Buller, Lake Nagambie, Yarrawonga and Wodonga.
Gold Coast in Australia will be hosting the 2018 edition of the Games.
For the Games, a new Athletics Stadium that could also host opening and closing ceremonies will be built in Shepparton, an agricultural and manufacturing centre with a population in the greater area of almost 65,000 – though central in the densely populated state.
A taskforce has already been organized to investigate the prospects of bidding for the 2030 event; the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) won’t begin to accept applications until 2022 with a host city selected in 2023.
“We saw in 2006 that thousands of country Victorians came to Melbourne to support the world’s best,’’ taskforce chairman Adem Karafili told the Herald Sun.
“Well, this time around, we are bringing the sports to the people. There is no doubt that ensuring that local communities are given special consideration will be a major focus of any feasibility study.”
Another taskforce member Peter Crinis added “It’s really worth exploring this option, and to take an event like that to the regions is something I really believe in.
“Promoting Victoria and tourism and the quality of the regions is important. It will be a catalyst as an investment in the regions.
“I wouldn’t be expecting it to be the same budget as (the Commonwealth Games) 2006, but we need to explore it,” he said.
Regional Mayor Dinny Adem told The Guardian “for us, Greater Shepparton with our rich multicultural mix is truly representative of what the Commonwealth Games is all about.”
“Thirteen per cent of our population are born overseas and we’re home to the largest Aboriginal community outside of Melbourne, just as the Commonwealth Games is representative of many faiths, races, languages, cultures and traditions.
“What we are unveiling today is a ‘first of its kind’ vision – the ‘People’s Games’ – and what we believe could form the blueprint for future major sporting events given the cost required and infrastructure needed to hold global competitions like the Commonwealth Games.”
Australian cities Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have discussed possible bids to replace Durban as host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the South African city lost the right last month after missing payments and deadlines. But with Gold Coast staging the event next year and organized competition from cities in the U.K., it does not seem a likely possibility.
Liverpool and Birmingham have already been preparing bids for the 2026 Games in a process where they will need to pass national vetting and then be forwarded to the CGF in 2019. But either city instead could be chosen to host in 2022, and that could knock the other out of contention for 2026.
Edmonton in Canada, the city that withdrew leaving Durban unopposed for 2022, along with Toronto, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi have expressed interest in stepping in to host in 2022 – but if they are left out of the picture when the CGF selects a replacement host later this year, they could come back for 2026 or 2030.
Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday to reporters that the proposal would need to be studied and handled with caution.
“You have got to be careful that in prioritizing one event you are not having to take money away from a range of other important areas.”
A taskforce preliminary report is due June 30 with a final report expected July 14. Organizers are trying to secure government funding for a full feasibility study prior to 2018.
A workshop is set to take place April 28 to allow regional Mayors and CEO’s to discuss the concept. Representatives from Melbourne, reportedly, have not been invited.