The Western Australian Government is considering bidding for Perth to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Acting Sport and Recreation Minister George Cash said he expected fierce competition for the games after today’s call from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for expressions of interest.
“It is projected that the 2002 Manchester games will attract about $50 million in tourism revenue, so it would be expected that the 2006 games would exceed that figure,” Mr Cash said.
“This is especially so in view of the fact that participation in the games has grown steadily over the years from 2,700 competitors and organisers in the 1990 Auckland games to an expected 5,000 in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games, according to the Games Association.
“There is also economic benefit for the State from television and radio rights with more than 500 million people having watched or listened to the 1994 games in Canada.
“WA has an enviable record in organising and hosting international events and Perth has established a world-wide reputation for its facilities.
“Our track record of organising and managing successful events such as Rally Australia and the 1991 World Swimming Championships speaks for itself.
“Next year we will be hosting the World Senior Cycling Championships and Perth has again been selected to host the World Swimming Championships in 1998.
“We can provide technical, state-of-the-art facilities and have the appropriate infrastructure to support a major sporting event.”
Mr Cash said much had to be considered before a bid was formalised.
“Bidding for the games is a very attractive proposition for Perth and we have a team in place which can quickly assess whether to proceed with a bid for the 2006 games," he said.
“We need to examine the cost of bidding for and hosting the games and the long and short-term benefits the games may bring to the State in terms of infrastructure, tourism and business opportunities.
“When we looked at bidding for the 2002 games the cost was around $250,000, while the cost of hosting the games will depend what work, if any, is needed to bring facilities up to international competition standards. The games village has always been cost-neutral.
“WA hosted its last Commonwealth Games in 1962 held at the specifically-built Perry Lakes Stadium. It is time Perth once again considered hosting such a significant sporting event.”
Media contact: Anabel Gomez 321 1444