Liberals and Nationals call for Shepparton hosting role at Commonwealth Games
The Andrews Labor Government must ensure that sport-loving Shepparton plays a key role in the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula was questioned on Shepparton’s notable absence from the Games at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings today, and would not confirm which events would be held in the regional city.
Shepparton’s capacity to host world-class events is proven, home to the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, World Tour Beach Volleyball tournaments, international standard triathlons and Bowls Victoria’s ‘Victorian Open’ event.
Shadow Minister for Sport, Cindy McLeish, said the sports should be locked in and the appropriate level of funding provided.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Andrews Labor Government to invest in regional sporting infrastructure in Shepparton, and build on the fantastic existing sporting facilities,” Ms McLeish said.
“Empty words from the Minister are not good enough. We want to see action, funding and support provided, especially given this whole concept began in Shepparton with the Taskforce who volunteered their time to secure the event.”
A pre-feasibility study funded by regional councils and the State Government, identified Shepparton, along with the four other regional centres of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley that have already been allocated sports, as an ideal location to host competition.
Current facilities could allow for sports including cycling, lawn bowls, triathlon, and squash to be hosted in the Goulburn Valley.
The 2026 Commonwealth Games provides an ideal opportunity to help regional Victoria recover and rebuild by upgrading existing regional sporting facilities, such as the Shepparton Sports Stadium.
Member for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell, said the Government was missing an opportunity to showcase the state-of-the-art regional sporting facilities.
“Shepparton has proven that it is more than capable of hosting world-class sporting events,” Ms Lovell said.
“It is time for the Andrews Labor Government to ensure Shepparton plays a big part of the games.”
Bringing Commonwealth Games events to Shepparton will create economic and social opportunities, improve existing facilities and boost tourism to the region.