While the decision by the Premier of Victoria Dictator Dan Andrews to scrap the 2026 Commonwealth Games is extraordinary, it is also in one sense unsurprising.
Because that’s the way Dan Andrews runs his state, with policy on a whim according to the mood of the all-powerful Premier.
It’s only a year ago that Andrews announced that the Games would be held in Regional Victoria, that the cost would be $2.5 billion and that the benefits to the state would be considerable.
Twelve months later he claims that cost is now as high as $7 billion and no longer viable. Many authoritative commentators have dismissed the $7 billion figure as fanciful and plain dishonest.
The reality is that Victoria’s finances, under the leadership of Dictator Dan, are in disarray and it’s struggling to pay its bills and fund essential infrastructure – always remembering that under his guidance Melbourne became the world’s most locked-down city during Covid – and now Regional Victoria is paying the price.
The 2026 Commonwealth Games would have been immensely beneficial to the economies and property markets of the host centres – Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton and Gippsland.
It would have been a unique event – the first time the Games would be shared by regional cities – and a massive boost to their economies and to regional employment.
Now that has whipped away, without consultation, discussion or warning, and it’s gut- wrenching for those communities which were already organising and investing in anticipation of the big events they were promised.
It’s a major blow for property markets as well – yet another one, because a series of decisions by Dictator Dan has provided significant discouragement to investors, including the recent decision to massively increase land tax inflicted on investor owners.
Reports suggest that many investors are selling up and getting out of Victoria, a state which already has a serious shortage of investment properties – with Melbourne’s vacancy rate just 1.3% and many regional cities below 1%.
We are now seeing headlines like “Mass exodus of landlords to further constrict already disastrous rental market.”
The ultimate losers will be people who need a place to rent – already hard to find and increasingly expensive and likely to get considerably worse, thanks to the extraordinarily inept management by the State Government led by Dictator Dan Andrews.