Monash experts are available to comment regarding the Victorian Government’s announcement they will scrap arrangements to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Dr Zareh Ghazarian, Senior Lecturer in Politics, School of Social Sciences
The following can be attributed to Dr Ghazarian:
“Daniel Andrews has taken a politically risky decision to cancel the Commonwealth Games.
“The government’s reasoning is sound. The reported cost of approximately $7 billion to hold the games seems excessive in a state where thousands of public service positions will be shed over the coming months in order to save money. The Premier would also hope that a promise to provide a support package to areas impacted by the cancellation would reduce the backlash against the government.
“What this decision does provide is an opportunity for the Coalition, who have been in opposition since 2014, to attack the government. Liberal Leader John Pesutto has already reportedly branded the decision as a ‘betrayal of regional Victoria’ in a social media post.
“Politically, the cancellation of the Games may just be the circuit breaker that the Opposition needed to focus more on the performance of the government, rather than its internal divisions.”
Dr Tom Heenan, Lecturer, Sport and Australian Studies in the Monash Intercultural Lab
Contact: +61 439 047 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more of Dr Heenan’s commentary at Monash Lens
The following can be attributed to Dr Heenan:
“It's official! Melbourne is no longer the sporting capital of the world. It may not even be the nation's sporting capital anymore. The Premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed this today with the cancellation of the Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria. On the surface it appears an embarrassing backdown by the government after decades of excessive sport boosterism.
“Politicians and media talking-heads pumped the line that Melbourne was the global sporting centre. Andrews is now confronting the reality that this was hot-air, and that mega-events like the Commonwealth and Olympic games are not worth the costs or inconvenience. As host and bidding cities have found, initial estimates can be rubbery. A $2.7 billion costing can easily balloon into a $6 billion credit card bill for a two-week sport extravaganza. The government's $2 billion sport infrastructure package may limit its reputational damage in Victoria's host centres, though questions must be asked about the cost of terminating the games' contract.
“This venture was flawed from the start. Situating the games in regional centres highlighted their declining global importance. Adding salt to the state's wounds, the cancellation coincides with the start of the Women's World Cup. In the most significant sporting event since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Melbourne is a bit-player to Sydney and Brisbane. This embarrassing fact, along with the Commonwealth Games' cancellation, suggests that the self-proclaimed sporting capital has lost its mantle to its northern neighbours. Given the economic and social costs of living for a prolonged period in sporting fantasyland, this may not be a bad thing.”
Professor Robert Brooks, Professor of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash Business School
Contact details: +61 400 837 287 or email@example.com
Read more of Professor Brooks’ commentary at Monash Lens
The following can be attributed to Professor Brooks:
“The successful hosting of major sporting events depends on the availability of appropriate infrastructure in venues, transport and accommodation. This could be achieved by use of existing infrastructure or using the event to rejuvenate infrastructure, such as the Barcelona Olympics.
“What was interesting about the Commonwealth Games hosting decision was the view that it could be used to improve and rejuvenate regional infrastructure in Victoria (the Barcelona model on a different and distributed scale) rather than use the existing major sporting event infrastructure available in Melbourne.
“Clearly, in a post-pandemic budget setting the investment in that regional infrastructure has not been as compelling as other projects and priorities.”
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