Victoria is cementing its reputation as the sports and events capital of Australia by backing new programs to attract more visitors, upgrading tourism infrastructure across Victoria and hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games – which will supercharge local jobs and leave a legacy for regional Victorians for decades to come.
The Victorian Budget 2022/23 includes $2.6 billion so Victoria is ready to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026, and a further $111 million to boost tourism and support events.
Four regional athlete hubs will be established in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, creating jobs, housing and modern sports infrastructure to encourage Victorians to get active and attract future major events to every corner of the state. Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events as part of the Commonwealth Games.
Other regional towns and cities are now able to register their interest in hosting activities as part of the Games. An Expression of Interest process has been established to capture ideas from local councils, peak bodies, Traditional Owners, cultural organisations and businesses, ensuring every part of Victoria can benefit.
The 2026 Commonwealth Games are expected to create more than 600 jobs before the Games, 3,900 jobs during the Games and a further 3,000 jobs after the event – more than 7,500 jobs in total.
The Budget includes $29.9 million over two years for regional tourism infrastructure upgrades such as $8.5 million for the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, $7.5 million for Croajingolong Wilderness Walk, $7 million for development of visitor experiences at Budj Bim and $3 million for the Mildura Trail of Lights.
As international borders continue to reopen, Visit Victoria will receive an additional $5 million in funding to lure overseas visitors back to our shores, showcasing all our state has to offer to the world.
This will be supported by a $2.6 million boost to the National Business Events Program to attract more conferences and business events to Victoria, in recognition of the important role this sector plays in the economy.
A further $3 million will help event organisers deliver a fun-filled calendar of small-to-medium events in greater Melbourne, giving suburbs across the city a lift when it comes to local jobs, and plenty of activities for the whole family.
Victorians will be further protected from ticket scalpers with $2 million to support enforcement under the Major Events Act 2009, making sure that Victoria’s declared major events continue to be a success.
The Labor Government will invest $65.7 million to continue supporting critical sport infrastructure and tourism attractions including Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, State Sport Centres Trust, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Puffing Billy Railway.
The Budget also provides $1.7 million to finalise the location of the Victorian Home of Motorsport and undertake planning and design for the new precinct.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“Victoria does events, sports, games and conferences better than anywhere else in the world, securing the best and biggest attractions so we can keep drawing swathes of interstate and international visitors to our state.”
“Now that international borders are opening up, we won’t just wait for visitors to get here – we’re taking our story to the world stage to showcase the best of everything Victoria has to offer.”
“An investment in tourism is an investment in jobs – and we’ll keep bringing in more tourists to spend big in Victorian businesses and to keep Victorians in work.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas
“The Commonwealth Games will be a boon for regional communities across Victoria, being able to watch some of the world's best athletes close to home. It will create lasting benefits for decades to come, with more jobs and support for businesses."
“We know how vital tourism and events are to our regional communities – backing regional tourism means backing jobs for regional Victoria.”
Reviewed 03 May 2022