NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has called on the Berejiklian Government to get behind a bid for Western Sydney to host the Commonwealth Games as solution to the growing region’s transport and housing needs.

Mr Foley said time was running out and other Australian cities could sneak in before Western Sydney to be the host of the Games in 2026 or 2030.

He said the region’s greatest asset was that it already has the sporting infrastructure in place courtesy of the 2000 Olympics but that the Commonwealth Games could act as a catalyst for the delivery of much-needed public transport and housing for families on lower incomes.

The new Western Sydney airport should already be up and running by 2026 but the hosting of the Games could help set a firmer delivery date for the Western Metro train service and a North-South Rail Link linking the airport to other parts of western Sydney.

Another legacy could be the provision of more affordable housing for the region through the conversion of accommodation built for visiting athletes into homes. The athletes’ village built for the Sydney Olympic Games is now the suburb of Newington, home to some 6,000 families.

Following the success of this year’s Gold Coast Games, the Commonwealth Games organisers are inviting bids from Australian cities the 2026 and 2030 games to be submitted towards the end of the year. Perth and Adelaide are reportedly keen to be hosts.

Premier Berejiklian and her Sports Minister Stuart Ayres had previously lent their support for the idea in 2017 – but have done nothing since.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Hosting the Commonwealth Games could be a game changer for Western Sydney but we need to move sooner rather than later if we are to secure the 2026 or 2030 Games.

“Despite going through the motions of supporting a bid there is no evidence that the Premier and her Sports Minister have done anything about it.”

“Above and beyond the spectacle of hosting the Games and the tourism it would bring, the Games would provide a lasting legacy of public transport and affordable housing for Western Sydney.

“With the sporting infrastructure already in place courtesy of the Olympics legacy, this is too good an opportunity to miss and Labor supports Western Sydney’s bid for the Games.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Sports Minister Lynda Voltz

“A Commonwealth Games bid would not only provide much needed housing and transport infrastructure for Western Sydney but also could act as a huge boost for sport in the region.

“Hosting the Commonwealth Games would cement Western Sydney’s place on the sporting map.”