COUNCILS are actively discussing more possible Commonwealth Games events in central Victoria after revealing their bid for mountain bike races in Harcourt.
A coalition of central Victorians went public with their pitch to Games organisers on Friday morning.
Greater Bendigo's council has confirmed it is in top-level discussions with nearby shires about a host of potential events that would take place in March, 2026.
Councils have found themselves simultaneously competing for events and working together on larger questions about what legacy the Games could leave in the four wider areas that will play host, Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said.
"We are working across Victoria so we can host the best games ever," he said while standing at the La Larr Ba Gauwa Mountain Bike Park at Harcourt.
The facility is in the Mount Alexander Shire but Mr Niemann said central Victoria's councils were approaching the Games as if municipal boundaries did not exist.
"That's a line on the map, as far as we're concerned. People are going to move across this region as we work towards the Games, through the Games and after the Games," he said.
Mount Alexander Shire's mayor Bill Maltby and chief executive Darren Fuzzard invited Mr Nieman and Greater Bendigo mayor Andrea Metcalf to the site on Friday to reveal the Harcourt event bid.
Central Victoria could face competition from other regions for mountain biking events, Mr Fuzzard said.
"There's lots of mountain bike parks and trails across Victoria," he said.
"Lots of places are going to think they've got the best facility. That all needs to be sorted through."
In the meantime, central Victoria's councils are discussing how they might attract other sports like orienteering.
Mr Niemann said there were plenty of national parks in the region that could play host.
Councils were also going back through past sports to see what Commonwealth Games events have been held in the past.
"Shooting, for example, was held in Bendigo during the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, so we'll probably put in a pitch for that," Mr Niemann said.
The key to each event pitch would be convincing national and international sporting bodies to support them, he said.
"There's a bit of work and advocacy to be done to get their support," Mr Niemann said.
The state government and Commonwealth Games Federation would need to sign off on each sport and location.
Councils currently expect that work to happen later this year.
"The Commonwealth Games Federation is pretty tied up right now with Birmingham," Mr Niemann said, referring to the 2022 Commonwealth Games taking place in the United Kingdom.
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