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Commonwealth Games cancellation has Bass Coast Shire Council learn valuable lessons for future athlete hosting opportunities

The state government's Commonwealth Games cancellation impacted an innovative council project, but valuable learnings gained for future entrepreneurial hosting opportunities.

By news@gippsland - 25th July 2023 - Back to News

Last week's shock decision of the state government to cancel the Commonwealth Games dealt a blow to one of the most innovative projects I have seen at council level. It's fair to say that Bass Coast Shire Council was disappointed when the region missed out on hosting some of the Games' sports. But rather than complaining, we quietly got on with the job of developing a plan to capitalise on the Games, without the new financial outlay which eventually brought the state government's grand plans undone.

The cancellation of the Commonwealth Games by the state government affected an innovative council project, but they devised a plan to seize the opportunity

The cancellation of the Commonwealth Games by the state government affected an innovative council project, but they devised a plan to seize the opportunity

Hosting international teams

When the Games were first announced, our team recognised quickly that the opportunity was to host international teams in the weeks prior to the Games so they could acclimatise. We have some fantastic facilities and Silverwater Resorts at San Remo was an obvious choice for an athletes village.

Bass Coast reached out to our neighbouring City of Casey which has extensive sporting facilities just not far down the road which were perfect for an international team to train at. Casey embraced the opportunity to partner with us and we began reaching out to international sporting bodies and international teams. Not surprisingly, teams embraced the concept and our beautiful region.

Talks progressed in the background over several months, including the plan for the teams to fully fund the hosting, including the accommodations, transport, meals and tourism opportunities. It would not have cost ratepayers a cent - in fact we were set to make a good profit to put back into the community.

Future opportunities ahead

We have been in deep discussions with a number of countries including Scotland and Wales which had progressed significantly throughout the last week. In fact we were talking with them just the night before the state government made their decision.

On behalf of Bass Coast we're disappointed at the state government's decision to cancel the Games, but tremendous information, learnings and intellectual protocol have been gained and we have created an entrepreneurial hosting model we can use in the future. I'm also proud to be a council that wanted to work closely with another council for the greater good of both communities. We will continue to explore joint opportunities that maximise both our strengths.

In coming weeks council will talk with the state government to ensure the Bass Coast region gets a fair slice of the new infrastructure funding for projects that will drive our tourism industry, such as the Dinosaur Trail and further internationally significant projects.

Pictures from Bass Coast Shire Council Facebook page.


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