The state government is talking up the positive aspects of cancelling the 2026 Commonwealth Games, suggesting that the city may even be better off in terms of infrastructure projects.
Regional Development Minister Harriett Shing was on Thursday dispatched to Geelong to help sell the $2 billion regional package the government has put in place to compensate Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Morwell for the scrapping of the event.
Ms Shing spoke to local leaders yesterday about how the package will work, telling Geelong Broadcasters that host cities would not be left empty-handed.
“What we do have .. is that regional package,” the minister said.
“That’s what I’m focused on pressing ahead with, and that’s what the participants in (this) room are very much focused on achieving.”
Ms Shing said new housing and infrastructure under the package could be completed earlier than originally planned.
“We can actually bring a lot of this work forward. Bear in mind that the intitial time frames for delivery of much of the work that is contained in this package was for after the completion of that 12 day event,” Ms Shing said.
Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan said he was hoping to see work completed with the original games timeframe.
“We’re still working towards 2026, that is the live target,” Cr Sullivan said.