*artist’s impression of completed Stage 5 GMHBA Stadium development
Jennifer Cromarty, CEO, Committee for Geelong
The Committee for Geelong is very excited at the prospect of a regionally hosted Commonwealth Games in 2026. With Geelong as the largest regional city in the state, we are very well placed to support this significant international event. We have a long history of hosting elite, world-class events, and can provide the necessary supports and activities for the expected increase in visitors.
Kardinia Park is well placed as our local sporting hub with significant investments into the precinct including GMHBA Stadium as a focal point for Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
With over $500 million invested in the visitor economy-focused Geelong City Deal, the region can be a focal point for the 2026 Commonwealth Games including the planned Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre on our waterfront – an asset that would also prove invaluable as part our local offering to the Games experience.
In support of the Commonwealth Games bid, the Little Malop St cultural precinct including our globally recognised Geelong Regional Library and the soon to be developed Geelong Arts Centre can offer an incredible creative experience for visitors.
Part of this bid should provide increased infrastructure investment, particularly in terms of affordable and social housing as well as public transport infrastructure including advanced rail-less trams as a solution to mass, sustainable transit options. As a region, we need to fully embrace this opportunity to not only showcase our wonderful region and existing assets but leverage the potential investment to design our future for all.
INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS FOR POTENTIAL COMMONWEALTH GAMES BID IN GEELONG
Geelong and the surrounding region is well placed with excellent existing infrastructure to support the Victoria Government’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. With only four years before the potential event, there is a big challenge to build new infrastructure as may be required.
However, there are several key infrastructure projects in progress, in early planning stages or proposed that should be considered and expedited for consideration as part of this bid.
- Finalisation and implementation of Kardinia Park sports precinct masterplan. With GHMBA Stadium final stage development underway, ensuring that Kardinia Park meets its potential as a focal point for the Commonwealth Games bid would be vital. Any upgrades required to surrounding facilitates including the Kardinia Aquatic Centre, sporting ovals or netball courts should be considered within this precinct.
- Pursuing the existing business cases and long term proposals for an elite basketball/netball facility in the region. This request is long overdue with existing pressures on community sport infrastructure which could be expediated as part of the Games bid.
- Ensuring the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre is finalised and opened prior to 2026 to access for activities and events related to the bid for example administration, community information, volunteer training or registrations.
- In the cultural precinct, following the finalisation of the Geelong Arts Centre development and the proposed Geelong Gallery $113 million development would provide impetus to ensure we leverage the increased visitation to the region and tell the story of Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.
- Significant investment into our public transport system including trialling and implementation of attractive mode of zero emissions mass transport including advanced rail-less trams (‘trackless trams’) to ensure regular and ease of use systems in and around the city region – while linked to other transport modes including the rail line, Avalon airport and Spirit of Tasmania and Geelong Flyer ferries.
- Funding to build a new rail station at Avalon Airport.
- Finalisation and implementation of the Geelong Train Station Masterplan
- Leveraging the Victorian Government’s commitment to the Big Housing Build, identifying locations near transport corridors for accommodation options which can be re-purposed as affordable and social housing. With the aim to have 12,000 people living in the central Geelong area, the Commonwealth Games bid provides incentive to fast-track residential housing developments in the city.
Media Contact: Jennifer Cromarty, CEO Committee for Geelong
M: 0413 241 033 firstname.lastname@example.org