Mildura Mayor Liam Wood said he was encouraged by renewed discussion this weekend of support for a bid to hold the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, and looked forward to the possibility of Mildura hosting events as part of the Games.
Mildura was part of a proposed regional cities bid led by Greater Shepparton City Council in 2017 to see several 2030 Commonwealth Games events hosted in 11 regional cities if Melbourne secured the Games.
Recent changes to Commonwealth Games scheduling has opened the window for a city to host the 2026 event.
Cr Wood said if the Victorian Government put in a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, it could pave the way for the ‘regional cities’ model to be revisited.
“There’s still a lot that needs to play out obviously, including a decision by the Victorian Government, but this represents a potentially huge opportunity for our region, and the timing couldn’t be better,” the Mayor said.
“We’re actually in a much stronger position now than we were when those initial talks were held in 2017.
“We now have a national-standard regional sporting facility equipped to host any number of Commonwealth Games events, and with Stage 2 of the Mildura Sporting Precinct set to be completed in the next 12 months, we’ll be even better prepared to host a broader range of sporting events.
“This, along with our city’s proven ability to host tens of thousands of visitors, and our busy airport, would make us an attractive proposition as part of any regional cities model, and the huge economic and tourism benefits it would bring to our region.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our regional cities partners to lobby for Commonwealth Games events to be held in the regions.”