A proposed multi-centre bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games in Victoria in Australia has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, it has been revealed.
The bid was launched nearly four years ago by the City of Greater Shepparton with events spread around the state in Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Nagambie, Traralgon, Warrnambool, Wodonga and Yarrawonga.
The Greater Shepparton City Council had claimed, when announcing the initiative in April 2017, that their model called the “The Greater Victoria” bid could help secure the future of the Commonwealth Games.
The bid's project manager Fiona Le Gassick has now told The Standard newspaper in Australia that the proposal has been halted.
A pre-feasibility study has been completed, but not yet presented to regional councils.
Pitched as the "People's Games", proposed venues included a new stadium at Shepparton Sports Precinct to hold the athletics and aquatics at the Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure Centre.
Other venues to be used include the Skilled Stadium, home ground of the Australian rules football club Geelong, which would host rugby sevens.
It would stage rugby sevens at the 2030 Commonwealth Games.
Ballarat Badminton Centre, the Geelong Stead Park Hockey Centre and Shepparton Park Bowls Club would be among other venues utilised.
Melbourne, which hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games, was not included as part of the initial proposal.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, yesterday announced a five-day snap lockdown in what he described as a “short, sharp circuit breaker” to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak connected to a quarantine hotel in the city.
Overall, Australia has so far had 28,892 coronavirus cases with 909 deaths.
It is another blow to the Commonwealth Games Federation, who are currently still struggling to find a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games to follow Birmingham, who are due to stage next year’s event.
Adelaide in South Australia had expressed an interest in bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, but the State Government have refused to back it.
It has left Hamilton in Canada as the only city who have publicly confirmed their interest, but they too are currently lacking support from their Provincial and Federal Government.