Give expensive Australian F1 Grand Prix to NSW, say Victorian Greens

Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Japan

Victoria should ditch the embattled Australian Formula One Grand Prix and give it to New South Wales, the Victorian Greens have said, with the event held in March costing taxpayers $61m.

The figure was revealed in the Grand Prix Corporation’s annual report tabled on Thursday. It means taxpayers covered about two in every three dollars it cost to host the four-day event at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

The expenses involved in holding the race were “out of control,” the Victorian Greens’ racing spokeswoman, Sue Pennicuik, said.

“Victorians are sick of tens of millions being wasted on this event every year for the sake of a dwindling number of spectators,” she said. “If [the NSW premier] Mike Baird still wants the Grand Prix, Victoria should let NSW have it.”

Baird flagged a plan to place a bid on the event before the NSW election last March, saying the course include the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

But Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, boasted on social media last September that Victoria had secured the race until 2023. He used the hashtags #sorrynotsorry and #bestofeverything in his announcement.

“I’m sorry Mike but the Australian Formula One Grand Prix is here to stay exactly where it belongs, in the great city of Melbourne,” Andrews said at the time. “In fact, I’ll even shout you a ticket.”

The annual report revealed that, although expenditure dropped 6% from the previous year, revenue had also fallen. But the $60m cost to taxpayers did not quite reach the record of 2015, when taxpayers paid $61.7m.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Melissa Davey, for theguardian.com on Thursday 13th October 2016 05.58 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010