Victorian taxpayers were left stunned after forking out over $11 million to pay the salaries of the staff responsible for the failed 2026 Commonwealth Games, a shocking revelation that has ignited public outrage.
The exorbitant expenditure was disclosed in the Victoria 2026 organising committee’s annual report, exposing the vast sums allocated to the underperforming team, including an eye-watering $500,000 for a single senior bureaucrat.
The report detailed that 10 other executives received payments exceeding $300,000, contributing to a total of 32 executives with substantial pay packets exceeding $180,000.
The staggering financial mismanagement was further highlighted by the revelation that the organisation had squandered more than $21 million in total by June 30, with almost half allocated to employee salaries and an additional $10 million categorised as "other operating expenses," as per the Auditor-General’s figures.
This financial debacle was accompanied by the revelation that the 13-member board, led by former Richmond Football Club president Peggy O’Neal, received a combined payment exceeding $700,000.
The 12-day sporting event, initially budgeted at $2.6 billion, which had ballooned to almost $7 billion before then Premier Dan Andrews announced the embarrassing cancellation.
In the wake of this financial catastrophe, taxpayers now face a compensation fee of $380 million, adding to the staggering $200 million already invested in the ill-fated event.
Opposition spokesperson Sam Groth expressed outrage, emphasising the missed opportunity to allocate these funds to essential services such as hospitals, schools, and roads.
The ongoing parliamentary inquiry aims to unravel the layers of this financial disaster, leaving Victorians questioning the responsible allocation of their hard-earned money.