Call made for Western Sydney to bid for 2026 Commonwealth Games
By Thomas Giles
New South Wales opposition leader Luke Foley has called for Western Sydney to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Foley has suggested the idea, which he believes would mean affordable housing and public transport would be prioritised, after Commonwealth Games Australia head Craig Philips wrote to all Premiers last week expressing his interest in hosting the Games in 2026 or 2030.
In his letters, Philips asked Premiers and Chief Ministers to express their interest by July so that an Australian city could be chosen by the organisation at its November board meeting.
Sydney hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and Australia staged this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April.
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Foley said: “A Commonwealth Games for Western Sydney would allow us to prioritise transport infrastructure and affordable housing that would leave a lasting legacy.
“The Sydney Olympics showed that New South Wales works well to a deadline and this would be the ideal deadline to work towards.
“We will also need a new Athletes’ Village, and whether that be at Olympic Park or Camellia, or we modernise and renew a housing estate in Mount Druitt, it would provide an opportunity for affordable housing.’’
**The ANZ Stadium hosted the Sydney 2000 Olympics ©ANZ Stadium
The hosting of events in Sydney could become contentious after an announcement that, less than 20 years after hosting the 2000 Olympic Games, the local authorities will be refurbishing the ANZ Stadium and turning it into a rectangular ground.
Work is due to knock down and rebuild Allianz at Moore Park, with Foley opposing both decisions.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie has also backed the idea of Sydney hosting the Games.
“The great legacy of the Gold Coast Games will definitely be the transport links that were prioritised for the Games,’’ he said.
“The thing with something like the Commonwealth Games is that it motivates Governments, it motivates oppositions, bureaucrats and it motivates corporate Australia.’’
Foley also said he has been led to believe that Perth and Adelaide are also interested in hosting the Games. ##