The Commonwealth Games may be coming back to Perth.
Premier Alan Carpenter today announced that the State Government was considering a bid to host the event in 2018.
Mr Carpenter made the announcement at the soon-to-be demolished Perry Lakes Stadium, which was built for the VII British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962.
He said the Department of Sport and Recreation and Tourism Western Australia had been asked to consider the feasibility of a Perth bid, including the cost and economic benefit to the State.
The departments would report back early next year, with the Commonwealth Games Association due to make a decision on the successful host city in 2011.
“Perth will soon boast some of the best sporting facilities in the world and the 2018 Commonwealth Games would allow us to maximise their potential,” the Premier said.
“Designed primarily for football, the new 60,000-seat Multi-Function Sports Stadium to be built at Kitchener Park could easily accommodate track and field events, as well as host the opening and closing ceremonies.
“We are also building the 14,000 seat Perth Arena indoor stadium on Wellington Street and a new Sate athletics centre and eight-court basketball stadium at AK Reserve in Floreat.
“These state-of-the-art facilities, along with a range of existing world-class venues, mean Perth would be well placed to host most mandatory and discretionary sports likely to feature in the Commonwealth Games.”
Mr Carpenter said other issues to be considered included the:
· need to accommodate tens of thousands of athletes, officials and interstate and overseas visitors;
· likely need for additional security, transportation and communications services;
· potential impact on AFL fixturing, as well as the Football Federation of Australia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup;
· possibility of staging some sporting events in regional centres such as Albany, Bunbury and Geraldton; and
· potential for cultural programs and events to complement the games.
The Premier said the State Government would be consulting key stakeholders such as the City of Perth, business and tourism representatives and peak sporting organisations, before making a decision.
The cost to taxpayers and the social and economic returns to the State would be major factors in any final decision to bid for the games.
“The Victorian Government spent almost $700million hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2006 for an economic return estimated at $1.6billion,” Mr Carpenter said.
“I believe the cost to WA taxpayers would be considerably less, because most of the sporting infrastructure required will already have been built, whether we host the games or not.”
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