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F1 Grand Prix set to stay in Melbourne

February 15, 2013
Melbourne wants to retain its Formula One grand prix beyond the remaining three years of the current deal annual losses estimated at $50 million.
Speaking at the recent launch event for the 2013, Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu said that the Victorian Government was committed to the remaining three races under the current deal and hoped to continue the association beyond 2015.
Critics of the race, which moved from Adelaide to Albert Park in 1996, say the losses are a waste of public money but successive Victorian Government's have backed the race as an asset for the city.
Explaining the backing Premier Baillieu stated "there are three more races under the current contracts and we will see out those and commence discussions at an appropriate time.
"I say again the grand prix has been good for this state, good for this city and is a key part of our major events calendar and that calendar gives Victoria a competitive edge.
"I am very confident that the grand prix has been good for Melbourne and Victoria, (and) will be good for Melbourne and Victoria.
"We intend to do whatever we can to ensure our major events calendar remains strong and the grand prix has been a part of that and we look forward to it being a part in the future."
The race's future was subject of debate earlier this year when the Herald Sun newspaper reported leaked documents that indicated the the Victorian Government paid Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone more than $30 million a year to host the race.
Baillieu said the report had misrepresented the nature of the fee, adding "those fees cover the arrival, the production of the grand prix itself - all of the equipment and personnel that is brought here - and they go to the company which runs the grands prix around the world." With cities around the world lining up to host Formula One races at times more conducive to large television audiences in Europe, Ecclestone has long made it clear that the sport could walk away from Australia if a new deal is not struck.
The Australian Grand Prix opens the 2013 Formula One season on Sunday 17th March.

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