The Victorian government has launched the much-anticipated expressions of interest campaign for building the 2026 Commonwealth Games villages.
The Games are to be held in March 2026 and require four athletes’ villages to be built in regional Victoria, in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Morwell.
The successful bid for regional Victoria to host the Games was championed by the City of Greater Shepparton.
The construction sector has now been invited to submit expressions of interest for medium-density housing, including pre-fabricated relocatable accommodation units, small apartment buildings and place making.
Registration will be via the Buying for Victoria website with shortlisted contractors invited to the Request for Proposal process.
Information from the submissions will help determine the decision on what will be built.
“The 2026 Games give us a fantastic opportunity to partner with local businesses and contractors in creating athletes’ villages that are modern, accessible, and energy efficient,” Victorian minister for Commonwealth Games legacy Harriet Shing said.
While some consultation has been carried out, each city has a wishlist of facilities and infrastructure that needs to be built prior to the Games.
Some of the funding for projects on those wishlists has already been confirmed.
Current estimates put the total figure of athletes and officials needing accommodation across the four cities at around 7000.
Hundreds of jobs for regional contractors are expected to be created during construction with early works at each location scheduled for later this year.
Village designs and the final numbers of housing units at each site are still being finalised.
Part of the initial plan is to turn parts of the villages over to social and affordable housing projects after the Games are over, providing much needed housing in the regional cities for key workers and community.
“Victoria 2026 will invest significantly in community infrastructure, including much needed additional housing in regional communities,” Victorian minister for Commonwealth Games delivery Jacinta Allan said.
Estimates state that the Games will create more than 600 full-time equivalent jobs before, 3900 job durings and 3000 jobs after the event with more than $3 billion contributed to the state’s economy.