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Minister offers Warrnambool council a glimmer of hope on Commonwealth Games inclusion | TheStandard

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The door is still open for Warrnambool to secure a Commonwealth Games event but it needs to put forward a strong case, a state government minister has said. State sport and major events minister Martin Pakula offered a glimmer of hope during a visit to the May Racing Carnival. “We’ve still got sports to add and there is still an opportunity if council, in particular, wanted to make a strong case for Warrnambool – that opportunity exists. But that hasn’t happened to date,” Mr Pakula said. “Opportunities still exist for a case to be made, if that’s what the community wants to do.” A new Commonwealth Games working group chaired by Warrnambool Mayor Vicki Jellie met for the first time last week. The group – which consists of council representatives, state and federal MPs, South West Academy of Sport and the hockey association – will prepare an expression of interest submission for the Commonwealth Games by June 17. Mr Pakula said in regards to communities that weren’t in the initial program, the government hadn’t yet finalized all the sports. “There’s probably four or five sports that are still to be added, so opportunities still exist,” he said. “We’ve got limits on how many villages we can build in a Commonwealth Games and there’s requirements about how far events need to be from villages, but the door is not closed.” Moyne Shire Council has also signaled its interest in securing a Commonwealth Games event for the municipality. In response to a question from Cr Damian Gleeson, the council’s acting chief executive officer Brett Davis said it was working to hopefully go for one of the events that was still up for offer. Warrnambool’s mayor and chief executive officer Peter Schneider were quizzed by councillor Ben Blain at last week’s public meeting about what had been done to secure Commonwealth Games events before now. “What work was done to advocate for Warrnambool as part of the games?” I have asked. Cr Jellie said Shepparton had been working on a bid since 2017 for the 2030 games, but when a country pulled out the 2026 games became available. She said Shepparton was the lead in the Regional Cities Victoria group, and the government looked favorably on the work it had been doing. Regional athletes hubs will be created in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland while Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events. IN OTHER NEWS: Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard: Have you signed up to The Standard’s daily newsletter and breaking news emails ? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that’s happening in the south-west.

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