The “Greater Victoria” Commonwealth Games bid needs to be taken out of the hands of PR gurus and given to people who want to make it an event all of regional Victoria can be proud of.
Victoria’s north west copped a dud hand when the bid was announced. There were proposals for new or upgraded facilities all over the map – except for anywhere north west of Bendigo.
Swan Hill and Horsham didn’t rate a mention and Mildura, in being offered only a test event and not put down for new spending, was clearly an afterthought.
Beach volleyball in Mildura?
Have they looked at a map?
Ironically, because we have Victoria’s second busiest passenger airport, we are actually more accessible for international travellers than Shepparton and many of the other towns listed in the bid.
In terms of venues, we have the world class Mildura Lawn Tennis Club courts and the Murray River.
And hey, we’re also in desperate need for more indoor sports facilities, so if the State Government does decide to launch a massive investment into sporting infrastructure, perhaps Mildura offers a white elephant-free solution.
The concept of bringing the games to regional Victoria, with its rich sporting history, is fantastic.
It also fits the flavour of the times with politicians talking about the need for decentralisation and brining jobs to the regions.
But it seems the current bid organisers aren’t thinking broadly enough to get the buy-in needed to pull something like this off.