Dan Andrews government spends $9 MILLION on FINA World Swimming Championships in Melbourne

Lucky Emma McKeon, Kyle Chalmers and their teammates have dominated the world championships because Swimming Australia is in a world of pain thanks to legal and financial problems.

The sport’s governing body in Australia has faced controversy after controversy over the past decade, and despite things finally turning around in the pool, there are struggles out of it.

Even considering the fact that they have been able to host the World Swimming Championships for the first time in 15 years.

Dan Andrews’ Victorian government shelled out $9.1 million, at taxpayer expense, to bring the tournament to Melbourne – and Swimming Australia will be able to pocket the profits, according to News Corp.

Madison Wilson, Chelsea Hodges, Mollie O’Callaghan and Emma McKeon with their 4x50m medley relay gold medals: but will their success in the pool be enough to propel Swimming Australia to success?

Unfortunately, given the small crowds and the fact that the event isn’t expected to make much money, it won’t do much for the bottom line a year after the organizations posted a $2.2 million loss.

Swimming Australia is already set to conduct an independent review after receiving a number of formal and informal complaints from figures across the sport, including state organisations, coaches and the athletes themselves.

CEO Eugenie Buckley is under enormous pressure over her behavior and relationship with all manner of stakeholders across the sport, including a bizarre and aggressive press conference this week that led to Swimming Australia later apologizing on her behalf.

But the problems don’t stop there.

Kyle Chalmers has been dominant for Australia at the World Championships, including this win in the 100m freestyle - but Swimming Australia is still under huge pressure out of the pool

Kyle Chalmers has been dominant for Australia at the World Championships, including this win in the 100m freestyle – but Swimming Australia is still under huge pressure out of the pool

Ongoing legal problems will continue well into next year, according to the News Corp report, after Buckley pulled the organization out of a deal with a new professional competition called the Australian Swimming League.

The league then took legal action to the Victorian Supreme Court which, if successful, could cost Swimming Australia as much as $10 million in damages.

It would be a severe blow to the organisation’s finances as it tries to recover from a poor 2021-22 financial year in which Gina Rinehart’s company Hancock Prospecting ended its long association with the sport in Australia.

As the swimmers star in the water, new president Michelle Gallen is under no illusions that there are still games to come despite the Andrews Labor government spending a pretty penny to bring the tournament, which was originally planned to be in Russia, to Melbourne.

Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges and Mollie O'Callaghan were all smiles as they celebrated winning the 4x50m medley relay on Saturday

Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges and Mollie O’Callaghan were all smiles as they celebrated winning the 4x50m medley relay on Saturday

A sweet moment between Australia's golden couple, as Cody Simpson hugs partner Emma McKeon after she won gold in the 50m freestyle

A sweet moment between Australia’s golden couple, as Cody Simpson hugs partner Emma McKeon after she won gold in the 50m freestyle

Swimming Australia was not even aware that Victoria was lining up to host the championships which were taken from Russia due to Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasions before the deal was signed.

It won’t completely dig them out of the financial hole, but it will no doubt help a lot.

“Visit Victoria, essentially they’re sponsoring the event so they can’t make a profit from its success, apart from obviously visiting nights and bed nights and showcasing Melbourne,” Gallen told Newscorp.

“It’s not going to be a savior for us, but it’s not going to be a bank breaker for us either.”

Victorian taxpayers have spent heavily on national sports organizations this year.

Dan Andrews (pictured) Victorian Labor government spent $9 million to bring world short course swimming championships to Melbourne at taxpayers' expense

Dan Andrews (pictured) Victorian Labor government spent $9 million to bring world short course swimming championships to Melbourne at taxpayers’ expense

Andrews proudly announced his state government was stepping in with $15 million after Netball Australia’s sponsorship fiasco saw Rinehart furiously withdraw her funding over the now infamous racism scandal that started with her father 38 years earlier.

Visit Victoria has now splashed a further $9 million to bring the World Cup to the Melbourne Sports Centre, despite the event not attracting big crowds from around the world.

This amount includes ticketing, marketing, securing the agreement and content – with the tourism body hoping for exposure of the state and visitors will help offset the amount.

A spokesperson for Andrews’ Labor government said they were very pleased to have secured the tournament.

Kyle Chalmers celebrates with a fist pump after winning the 100m freestyle final

Kyle Chalmers celebrates with a fist pump after winning the 100m freestyle final

“The FINA World Short Course Championships continues a fantastic year for Victoria’s major events calendar and all eyes will be on Melbourne as we host some of the biggest names in world swimming,” the spokesperson said.

“This event reinforces our reputation for hosting major international sporting events.”

It will matter little to McKeon and Chalmers – neither of whom are Victorian residents or taxpayers – who have completely dominated the tournament.

The championships conclude on Sunday evening with events such as the 4×100 medley relay, 200m freestyle and breaststroke and backstroke to close out proceedings.

Australia has 23 medals (11 gold) to finish second in the table behind America (13 gold, 28 overall).

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