LAURA JAYES: Well, this time yesterday, Sky News broke the news that Victoria, the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews had decided to cancel the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The decision has been slammed by sporting leaders and athletes. This after the state government cited cost blowouts of four to $5 billion. However, queries on the state government's commitment to deliver on the gains were raised on this show several months ago.
[excerpt]JANE HUME: Let's face it, Victoria is broke. It's a failed state. And Victorians are being punished for the incompetence. And let's face it, let's say the word out loud the corruption of this Victorian government and this Premier, the debt figure that you just cited, they said 83 $270 billion by 2026, which is around 83,000. Man, woman and child in Victoria, that's 171 billion in the same year, as Victoria is supposed to be hosting the Commonwealth Games, but they're cutting infrastructure. How can Victoria deliver on that commitment to host the Commonwealth Games? We don't think cutting interest in Well, I think that they have some explaining to do.
LAURA JAYES: That was Jane Hume a couple of months ago. She joins us now, the Shadow Finance Minister. Has Daniel Andrews killed the Commonwealth Games?
JANE HUME: He has killed the Commonwealth Games, certainly in Victoria, certainly, for regional Victorians. And certainly he's broken the hearts of athletes and athletes, families right around the world, not just in Australia. All of those people that had been training up specifically for the opportunity to represent their country in the Commonwealth Games, they're really dear to their hearts are breaking today. And it's because of Dan Andrews' incompetence. It's because this Victorian government can't manage money and can't deliver on projects. Why did they not know that this was going to occur? Just a couple of months ago, when they delivered a couple of weeks ago, when they delivered a budget line over a year ago, when they committed to delivering a Commonwealth Games and ambitiously said it was going to be delivered out in the regions which they knew was going to be more expensive.
LAURA JAYES: Sure, but you didn't seem like a bit of a fan of the Commonwealth Games a couple of months ago. You're skeptical about Victoria's ability to afford to do it. Now we have these cost blowouts. Look, there's questions over whether $7 billion or more is, you know, highly over exaggerated. But in the end, Jane, perhaps the right decision has been made here. But the process has been messy. Is that what you take umbrage with?
JANE HUME: Not just the process being messy. Don't get me wrong, Laura. I am an enormous fan of the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games are very different to the Olympics. Now there's different sports involved, they won't get a chance to those athletes won't get a chance to showcase their abilities. There are also parallel para sports that are combined in the Commonwealth Games in a way that they're not in the Olympics. They have a separate Paralympics. That was a real opportunity here too. So let's be clear, I'm a big fan of the Commonwealth Games. The fact that Dan Andrews through his incompetence through his ministers incompetence through his government's incompetence, has put a nail in the coffin of the Commonwealth Games. I think that's unforgivable. On top of that, he's embarrassed Victoria, on a global scale the BBC are reporting this, this morning as well. Don't think that there is a country in the Commonwealth that doesn't know that their opportunity to have their athletes represent their countries has disappeared because of this government's incompetence. In any other state had any other government had this massive failure, then heads would roll. Somebody would be resigning. But in Victoria, everybody shrugs their shoulders and says, 'Oh, well, it's all for the best'. Teflon Dan gets away with it again, which is just unbelievable and I think it's because Victorians have been worn down. We now expect incompetence from our government and that's unacceptable.
LAURA JAYES: Well, look, my colleague Chris O'Keefe, said Dan Andrews could cancel Christmas and Victorians would still throw him a ticker tape parade and I don't think that's very far off the mark to be fair. But what about other expensive projects? Is there going to be a conversation now about the Suburban Rail Loop, it's about $200 billion?
JANE HUME: Well, there certainly should be a conversation about that. And the federal government's already put up $2 billion for that. And let's face it at the time when it was committed to there was no business case it hadn't gone through infrastructure astray. earlier and as far as I know, that remains the case, there's been dozens of projects around Victoria that have been canceled. The Geelong Fast rail, the airport link, all of these things have been canceled because this government can't manage projects and can't manage a budget.
LAURA JAYES: Jane Hume, thanks so much for your time. We'll see you soon. Great to be with you.