A bid to secure the Commonwealth Games marathon for the south-west is ramping up in a quest to salvage a local campaign for the 2026 event.
The Great Ocean Road has been touted as the ideal place to host the event and showcase the south-west to millions of viewers.
Warrnambool City Council and MP Roma Britnell have now fired off letters to the government in a bid to make sure the region is not left out of the 2026 regional-based games.
The region was overlooked as a major sporting hub, but the door has been left open for other events that are yet to be announced - including the marathon.
The renewed action from the city's leaders came after a government source on Tuesday said there didn't appear to have been any approaches from Warrnambool City Council to host any events.
But the council's chief executive officer Peter Schneider said advocacy was done collaboratively with Regional Cities Victoria and they had discussed the games with local members of parliament.
"We are still hopeful of participating in the Commonwealth Games and will be writing to the games team at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to have discussions about what our involvement opportunities might be," Mr Schneider said. Mayor Vicki Jellie said the council would be working hard to make sure the region didn't miss out. "We'd absolutely love to be part of it," she said.
A Regional Cities Victoria spokesperson said they would continue to advocate for games' sporting and cultural events to be shared as widely as possible across regional cities.
After missing out in Tuesday's announcement, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell wrote to the minister for tourism, sport and major events Martin Pakula to put forward the case for hosting any unallocated events in the south-west.
"Just imagine the television images of cyclists riding along the Great Ocean Road, past the Twelve Apostles, and Bay of Martyrs before ending with a sprint to the finish right here in the south-west," Ms Britnell wrote. "Millions of eyes will be glued to the screen as the south-west coast showcases itself at its very best."
While the cycling road race has already been allocated to Gippsland, the marathon is one event that was still to be announced.
"The government has missed an opportunity if they don't use it for something like cycling, but marathon is another option," she said.
Ms Britnell touted the region's ability to host world-class events such as the May Racing Carnival, Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic and the bowls club tournaments.
She said she would be pushing hard for the region to be involved.
In February, Wannon MP Dan Tehan said he had spoken to the council about hosting Commonwealth Games events and his vision was for Warrnambool to host the start or finish of the marathon as well as clay target shooting or pistol shooting.
Four regional hubs will be established in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with their own athletes' village and sport program.
For those regional towns, that will leave a legacy of affordable housing - something Warrnambool has been calling out for to help address its housing crisis.
Further announcements on other events will be announced later in 2022.
The opening ceremony will be held at the MCG while Shepparton will host sporting and cultural events.
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