Gina Rinehart joins forces with Gold Coast Mayor to revive Commonwealth Games hopes

Aug 10, 2023
Gina Rinehart pledges support for Gold Coast's bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games. Source: Getty

Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart is putting her money where her mouth is after pledging to help the Gold Coast host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after Victoria dropped the costly responsibility.

It is understood that the mining magnate has thrown her support for Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and his bold attempt to save the Games after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews backed out last month.

According to Andrews, the hefty $7 billion operational cost of hosting the Games was unjustifiable. Though London and Christchurch, New Zealand, have shown interest in taking on hosting duties, Rinehart and Tate are determined to have the upcoming Games hosted on Australian soil.

Though Rinehart herself will not fully fund the Games, the Courier Mail reports that she is prepared to do whatever is necessary to help the Gold Coast secure the sporting event.

“Having seen the joy that athletes and their families experienced when competing in front of a home crowd for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mrs Rinehart would certainly welcome the 2026 event to again be held in Australia, especially at the Gold Coast, where it was run so successfully before,” her spokesman said.

The Gold Coast had previously hosted the Games back in 2018 and already has the facilities to host the event again.

Tate says Rineharts’ support “sends a clear message” to members of the Commonwealth.

“We must show what we are capable of as a country,” he said.

“The Aussie athletes deserve it, as does every young kid who dreams of representing their country. The momentum behind the 2026 Gold Coast Games is growing.

“Every news poll has shown overwhelming support – and the irony is that we are not even asking for additional funds from the Federal Government; I simply want the Federal Treasurer to redirect the funds they had planned for Vic2026 to us.

“We will take it from there and I’m well advised that if we do manage to save the 2026 Games, the Commonwealth Games Federation may reconsider its legal action against the state of Victoria.

“That alone could save Victorian taxpayers up to $900 million in costs for the contract breach.”

Swimming Queensland boss Kev Hasemann has also backed Tate’s bid, saying it was crucial to give local athletes a platform to hone their skills ahead of the Olympics.

“The Gold Coast can rescue the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and, like the Women’s FIFA World Cup, breathe life back into a multi-sport competition that has played such a major part in our sporting heritage,” Hasemann said.

While Rinehart’s pledge has received support from a handful of Australian athletes, Mayor Tate’s bid still does not have the backing of the State or Federal government who have previously stressed that Queensland should keep their focus on hosting the 2032 Olympics.

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