A Senate inquiry into the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria has been criticized as a “political stunt” by Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan. The inquiry, led by Senator McKenzie, aims to investigate the reasons behind the decision to cancel the event. However, Allan argued that there was no need for government members to attend the inquiry as Premier Daniel Andrews had already addressed the issue extensively. Allan, who is expected to succeed Andrews as the Premier of Victoria, stood by the government’s decision not to participate in the inquiry.
“This Senate inquiry is all a political stunt,” Allan stated firmly. Meanwhile, Senator McKenzie expressed disappointment that Andrews did not take the opportunity to explain himself. She believed that the decision to cancel the Games was not thoroughly justified during the press conference in which it was announced.
“When he made that decision, he was kind of dismissive in that press conference,” McKenzie remarked. “Now if it wasn’t the hardest decision he had to make as a premier, then he needs to actually front up and explain it and subject himself to very sensible questions, from sporting federations, from athletes, from regional communities.”
McKenzie further criticized Andrews for covering up the decision by keeping his ministers, including Allan, and departmental officials out of the spotlight. This, according to McKenzie, created a sense of invisibility and avoided accountability for the cancellation of the event.
In the previous month, Andrews shocked many when he announced the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The reason provided was that the event’s budget had significantly exceeded the initial estimate, rising from $2.6 billion to an estimated range of $6 to $7 billion. As a result of pulling out of the Games, the government paid $380 million in compensation.
The Senate inquiry aims to delve deeper into the decision-making process and provide clarity on the matter. However, Allan maintains that Andrews has offered sufficient explanations and defended the cancellation adequately, making the inquiry unnecessary.
This ongoing political development has sparked a vigorous debate among the public in Victoria, with opinions being divided on whether the cancellation was justified or if the Senate inquiry is an essential exercise in transparency and accountability. The government’s decision to abstain from participating in the inquiry has added to the controversy, with critics arguing that it reflects a lack of willingness to be held accountable for their actions.
As the Senate inquiry continues, it remains to be seen whether new information will emerge or if it will simply reiterate the arguments and justifications put forth by Andrews regarding the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The outcome of the inquiry could have significant implications for the future planning and execution of major sporting events in the state of Victoria, making it a matter of great interest for the public and stakeholders involved.