The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be held in Victoria, just 20 years after doing the same in 2006.
However unlike 2006, shooting has not been included.
In this article, we look at why this has happened and what can be done to put pressure on it’s re-inclusion.
There will be 16 sports, with the usual range that we are used to seeing such as athletics and swimming
We know that shooting wasn’t included in this year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games, but it is now apparent that shooting isn’t among the sports announced for the 2026 games either.
Shooting was included in the 2006 games, with the Melbourne Gun club, Melbourne International Shooting Club and Wellsford Range all hosting events.
The inclusion of shooting was even announced by the then Labor Minister for sport, Justin Madden at one of those venues.
Justin Madden MP announcing shooting for the 2006 Comm Games at Melbourne Gun Club
Media interviewing Russell Mark
Madden with Russell and Laryn Mark
So what’s changed that would cause one Labor Government to include shooting, and another Labor Government to leave it out?
The difference is that the state’s premier is Daniel Andrews.
Andrews is hard core socialist and known for his disregard for the shooting sports alongside his police minister, Lisa Neville.
We wrote to Andrews and also to Commonwealth Games Australia, asking why shooting was dropped.
While Andrews hasn’t yet responded, Commonwealth Games Australia advised us that:
- A number of other sports, including shooting, are listed as “core sports” which may be included later on;
- The Victorian Government gets a say in what sports are and are not included;
- There will be further sports added to the program by the end of Phase 2 – which delays the announcement until after this year’s Victorian state election; and
- We should speak with Shooting Australia, which organises the shooting events for the Commonwealth Games and is a member of Commonwealth Games Australia.
However the response also said that discussions on ‘phase 2’ are “strictly confidential”, which means Shooting Australia will not be able to tell us, even if they knew.
Why this matters
With the announcement of what other sports may or may not be included being held off until after the election, we cannot afford to let the government exclude shooting.
That’s why we’ll be taking this into account as we approach this year’s Victorian State Election.
In fact, with a federal election fast approaching we’ve decided that like WA, shooters in Victoria need to send a message to the Andrews Labor Government in every Victorian electorate, with one exception.
We’ll cover that in our article on the federal election which you can see by clicking here.