Commonwealth Games reach £190m agreement with Victoria government as row settled

Australia’s Victoria state withdraws as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games

The Victoria government are set to fork out £190million in order to settle all their disputes with the Commonwealth Games federations after choosing to withdraw from hosting the 2026 Games. Victoria cited a projected budget blowout as the reason for walking away from their agreement.

The state’s premier Dan Andrews said the cost of hosting the Games could potentially rise to more than £3bn from a budgeted £1.5bn. This comes after Mr Andrews’ controversial decision to ban new homes from connecting to natural gas, in a bid for Victoria to halve carbon emissions by 2030 – a policy that has made him very unpopular in the polls.

A statement from the Victoria government on Friday read: “The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships (CGFP), Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the State of Victoria have settled all their disputes regarding the cancellation of the multi-hub regional Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.

“In July 2023 the Victorian Government announced its decision to withdraw from hosting the 2026 Games. Following that decision, the affected parties have been involved in confidential good-faith negotiations.

“The parties subsequently agreed to refer the dispute to Mediation and appointed former New Zealand Judge, the Honourable Kit Toogood KC and the former Chief Justice of the WA Supreme Court, the Honourable Wayne Martin AC KC as joint mediators.

“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 (£190m).

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“The parties also agreed that the multi-hub regional model was more expensive to host than the traditional models. The settlement was supported by the mediators.

“The terms of the settlement will otherwise remain confidential. The settlement finalises all matters between the parties. The parties are legally bound not to speak further regarding the details of the settlement.”

Meanwhile, support for Mr Andrews has plummeted since the decision was made to pull the plug on hosting the Commonwealth Games, with a new Resolve Political Monitor survey having the Victorian government’s primary vote down to 39 per cent, which is down from the previous vote of 41 per cent.

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