After being snubbed by the Andrews Labor Government in a bid to host events for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, Shepparton will be included as a hub if a Liberal and Nationals Government is elected in November.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister for Sport Cindy McLeish were at Shepparton Sports Stadium today to make the announcement which will put Shepparton on the world stage.
Mr Walsh says today’s commitment matches the original vision for 2026 and adds Shepparton as a fifth hub alongside Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Gippsland.
“The bid for 2026 began here and Shepparton must be included in 2026,” Mr Walsh says.
“A vote for an independent is a vote for Labor and the exclusion of Shepparton from the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
“Time and time again, the city-centric Andrews Labor Government has overlooked Shepparton and their decision to not include the region in Victoria 2026 reaffirms that.
“Only the Liberals and Nationals are committed to Shepparton as a hub at the 2026 Commonwealth Games.”
The Liberals and Nationals will fight for Shepparton to host some of the optional Commonwealth Games sports such as basketball and shooting.
Shadow Minister for Sport Cindy McLeish says excluding Shepparton as a hub was an affront to the people who petitioned so hard to bring the event to the region.
“Bringing the games to Shepparton means another regional community can witness world-class sport,” Ms McLeish says.
“Events like the Commonwealth Games will inspire the next generation of athletes and leaders, which is why the Liberals and Nationals will bring 2026 to Shepparton.”
The Nationals’ Candidate for Shepparton Kim O’Keeffe says the announcement shows the commitment of the Shepparton community in advocating.
“After years of hard work and advocacy by our community, I am proud to have secured this commitment with the Liberals and Nationals to actually include Shepparton as a hub,” Ms O’Keeffe says.
“Shepparton has fantastic facilities which could support the games, but this would also provide a much needed boost to our local economy after COVID lockdowns created so much uncertainty for local traders.”
Liberal Candidate for Shepparton Cheryl Hammer says it represented a monumental day for Shepparton.
“Shepparton has a wonderful track record in hosting national and international-level events and we are ready to showcase our world-class facilities and hospitality as a hub at the 2026 Regional Commonwealth Games,” Ms Hammer said.