Former Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula is set to give evidence at a federal inquiry examining the state’s cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
While Premier Dan Andrews is not expected to front Melbourne hearings of the federal Senate inquiry into Australia’s preparedness to host the 2026 Commonwealth and 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Mr Pakula is listed to appear on Monday afternoon.
The inquiry had been due to conclude earlier this year but submissions were reopened after the Victorian government’s surprise decision in July to scrap the Games over cost blowouts.
Commonwealth Games chief executive officer Craig Phillips will be the first witness at the inquiry’s Melbourne hearings, followed by Games president Ben Houston and chef de mission Petria Thomas.
Several regional councils and representatives from tourism and event bodies negatively impacted when the Games were scrapped will also provide submissions.
Victoria will pay Commonwealth Games bodies $380 million in compensation after cancelling the event.
Victorian Auditor-General Andrew Greaves will also undertake a probe of the costs associated with securing, planning for and exiting the Games.
State Opposition Leader John Pesutto said the saga had damaged Victoria’s international reputation.
Requirements by the Commonwealth Games Federation for athletes’ villages pushed up the cost of accommodation alone from an estimated $200 million to more than $1 billion.
An estimated general operations price tag of close to $1.5 billion, up from an initial $1.1 billion, also put pressure on the event.