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Australian Grand Prix organisers say new race contract needs Victorian Government approval

Australian Grand Prix organisers say new race contract needs Victorian Government approval
March 15, 2014

A new deal to extend the Australian Formula One Grand Prix beyond 2015 has been negotiated and, according to organisers, merely needs to be signed by the Victorian Government.

Melbourne's contract to host the Albert Park street circuit race expires after the 2015 event and Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Ron Walker said he had hammered out a new deal.

Walker did not indicate whether, beyond 2015, future Melbourne races would be night races time to appeal to west Asian and European television audiences.

Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone has previously cast doubt on the long-term future of the Australian Grand Prix, having frequently called for the event to shift to a night race.

Claiming that the Australian Grand Prix is the "least viable" of all the F1 races, Ecclestone had stated that unless Melbourne introduces a night race it would be removed from the F1 calendar after in 2015.

Walker told the ABC "I think that the foreplay is over so to speak and it's now a case of talking to the Government about whether it is worth it or not.

"There is a deal on the table and it's up to the (Victorian) Cabinet sub-committee to recommend to Cabinet whatever they want to recommend.

"We can only do our best and we will see what happens."

Walker did not indicate whether, beyond 2015, future Melbourne races would be night races time to appeal to west Asian and European television audiences.

In opposition, the current Victorian Government regularly criticised the event for costing too much.

However, since gaining office, attempts by the administrations of Premiers Baillieu and Napthine to rein in the cost of the event met with some success - with the Victorian Government spending $50.67 million to host the event in 2013, compared with $56.66 million in 2012.

Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister Louise Asher highlights that the Government will makes its decision based on value for money.

Minister Asher stated "I haven't set myself a timetable, obviously we have next year's race and there is no need to rush on this.

"I think everyone in the Government wants the race. The assessment is going to be made over the price."

Melbourne has staged the Australian Grand Prix since 1996 with the 2014 Melbourne race set to open the new F1 Grand Prix season tomorrow (Sunday 16th March).

For more information go to www.grandprix.com.au 

7th June 2012 - RON WALKER TO HEAD GLOBAL FORMULA ONE CIRCUITS BODY 

16th December 2010 - AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX CORPORATION NAMES FOXTIX AS OFFICIAL TICKETING PROVIDER


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