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Western Sydney should make a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games because it would fast-track critical transport infrastructure and affordable housing in the region, New South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley says
His comments come as the chief executive of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Craig Phillips, wrote last week to the states seeking expressions of interest to host the 2026 or 2030 Games.
Mr Foley said a successful bid by western Sydney to host the sporting competition would offer a "pressing deadline" for the delivery of transport infrastructure and new affordable housing in the region.
Western Sydney was "uniquely placed" and could afford to host the Games because the region already had the sporting facilities from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, he said.
Mr Foley agreed that transport and housing infrastructure should be built, regardless of a successful Commonwealth Games bid.
"Yes of course it should, but a clear deadline of the 2026 Commonwealth Games would get everyone's minds focused on delivering a new western metro rail line by then and the north-south rail line that connects to the new western Sydney airport," he said.
He also suggested a new athletes' village could be created from upgrades to an existing large western Sydney public housing estate.
This is not the first time western Sydney has been raised as a potential host.
Last year, the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue (WSLD) made a push to host the 2026 or 2030 Games, setting up a stoush with Victoria, which has also indicated interest in hosting the 2030 Games.
At the time, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would "definitely" consider supporting western Sydney to host the competition.
However, Mr Foley said she and Sports Minister Stuart Ayres had done nothing since to further the plan.
"I think an Australian city will definitely host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 or 2030, so I'm saying let's make it western Sydney," he said.
"We shouldn't leave it to Perth or Adelaide to jump in and steal the games."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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