GANNAWARRA Shire Council would be willing to assist with any bid for Victoria to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, if approached.
Regional Cities Victoria – which consists of Victoria's 10 largest regional cities – announced an audacious plan last Thursday for one of the biggest global sporting events to be split across venues throughout Victoria.
A number of regional venues – including Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon – hosted sports when the Commonwealth Games were last held in Australia 11 years ago, but the new proposal would see the entire event occur away from Melbourne.
As part of its proposal, the "Peoples Games" would see sports occur at Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Shepparton, Traralgon, Wodonga and Yarrawonga, with test events to be held at Mildura.
"This 'first of its kind' vision could form the blueprint for future major sporting events given the cost required and infrastructure needed to hold global competitions like the Commonwealth Games," Greater Shepparton City Council mayor, Dinny Adem said.
"Importantly, staging a ground-breaking concept such as this across regional cities and towns will leave a legacy for millions of people like we have never seen before."
At this stage talks regarding the proposal have focused on the 10 municipalities that make up Regional Cities Victoria, but Gannawarra mayor, Cr Brian Gibson said council would consider taking up an offer if approached.
"We would certainly get on board if approached. We have some beautiful lakes for rowing and forests for mountain bike riding, for sure," he said.
Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh also welcomed the initiative.
"This is an exciting proposal for regional Victoria and the Liberal Nationals look forward to learning more about this opportunity," the Nationals leader said.
"Country Victorians love their sport and would be thrilled to host Commonwealth Games events in their home towns.
"The concept is a great fit with our population and decentralisation policies, and it would be a terrific boost for jobs and regional economies."