Council responds to Commonwealth Games cancellation

Published on 18 July 2023

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Hepburn Shire Council is disappointed at the shock decision by the Victorian Government today to cancel the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

As host of the mountain biking events, Council was looking forward to the economic benefits that the Games would bring through visitation and tourism.

“While we understand and appreciate the financial challenges faced by all levels of government, we are extremely disappointed that regional Victoria will no longer host the games,” said Cr Brian Hood, Mayor of Hepburn Shire.

“Economic pressures are being felt at all levels of government and across the community. We acknowledge the Victorian Government’s announcement of the cancellation also comes with a regional support package, which we anticipate will bring other desperately needed benefits for our Shire and we look forward to further detail on this,” he said.

“Council itself has had to make difficult financial decisions, cancelling or postponing a number of projects over the last three years following the impacts of the COVID pandemic, natural disasters across the Shire and the economic conditions.”

Hepburn Shire was to host the Commonwealth Games mountain biking events at the 60km Creswick Trails Network. Today’s announcement does not impact on the delivery of the trails network, which is expected to be finalised and opened in late 2024.

“Council remains fully committed to completing this project, which will deliver important economic benefits for Creswick and the wider region along with health and wellbeing outcomes. We invite further investment in this project from the State Government as part of the regional support package,” said Cr Hood.

“Council is also finalising our Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan and welcome today's announcement of investment in housing for the Shire and across Victoria as proposed by the Victorian Government,” he said.

“As a key destination for tourism and events, we look forward to seeing the detail of opportunities that will help to boost this sector through the regional support package.”

“The Commonwealth Games have shown to be a major boost for grassroot sports. Council will continue to promote sport and active recreation throughout the Shire and work with local sporting groups to boost health, wellbeing and inclusion in our community.”