Western Sydney and the wider NSW economy will miss out on billions of dollars because of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s bizarre decision not to bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

The Liberal-National Government has reportedly decided to forgo a bid for Western Sydney to host the 2026 Games because it wants to focus on delivering a string of events it needs to shore up its $2.3 billion stadiums splurge.

According to the local Commonwealth Games organisers, the Brisbane games earlier this year will have delivered $4 billion into the economy.

Earlier this year NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley called on the State Government to lodge a bid for Western Sydney to host the 2026 or 2030 games because it could deliver for much-needed public transport infrastructure and affordable housing to the region.

Mr Foley said the decision not to bid was a missed opportunity, a view shared by Craig Phillips, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Australia. A year ago Ms Berejiklian said she would back a bid, but has failed to do anything about it.

Instead, the Premier and her Sports Minister Stuart Ayres have cobbled together a list of ten World Cup events they are chasing to bring crowds to their stadiums. However, some of those events, such as the rugby league world cup, have already been played and Sydney was excluded as a host, while others are unlikely to deliver large enough crowds for the revamped Allianz stadium.  

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Hosting the Commonwealth Games could have been a game changer for Western Sydney so this is a missed golden opportunity for the region; clearly the Premier just isn’t interested in delivering for the region. 

“A Commonwealth Games could have delivered a wonderful legacy of public transport infrastructure and public housing for the region but that is not going to happen because this government is more focused on its massive stadiums splurge. 

“The Premier’s real focus is on knocking down and rebuilding a stadium in Moore Park in Sydney’s east, not in delivering a multi-billion dollar boost for the western Sydney economy and kickstarting infrastructure projects like Western Metro.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Sports Minister Lynda Voltz

“A Commonwealth Games bid would have provided much needed housing and transport infrastructure for Western Sydney but been a huge boost for sport in the region.

“The Premier and her Sports Minister have dropped the ball and Western Sydney will pay as a result.”