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Melbourne has had enough of F1, says politician

NEWS STORY
18/06/2008

While talk of a new deal, which will see Melbourne continue to host the Australian GP through to 2015, remains officially unconfirmed, the Melbourne council has asked the Victoria government to drop the event saying it has "had enough" of the race.

"After 14 years, residents have had more than enough,'' said Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Janet Cribbes, according to News.com in Australia. "Why should they have to suffer the noise and the inconvenience of a car race in a park, a race whose public price tag blew out to $41.3m AUD (£19.9m) last year?''

The cost of staging the Grand Prix, including the fee paid to Bernie Ecclestone's FOM, is understood to have risen by $8m (£3.9m) AUD each year, reaching $33m AUD (£15.9m) in 2006. However, organizers, and the Government clam that the event is good for the city in terms of publicity and tourist revenue.

Until last weekend's reports that a new deal had been agreed, it was feared that Melbourne could be dropped from the calendar, with Ecclestone demanding that the race be held at night in order to accommodate fans in the sport's European heartland. However, it is claimed that the proposed deal will see the race take place at 17.00 rather than late evening.

"It's simply not fair that this event is exempt from the normal legislative protections empowering Victoria Police and the Environmental Protection Authority to take action on noise and other infringements on residential amenity,'' said Cribbes, who added that the council believes the race; "does not benefit Victoria as a whole' or the rest of the country and that it is time for the race to move on.

"It simply doesn't stack up on economic, social or environmental grounds," she added.

In a recent poll run by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria and Tourism Victoria, aimed at finding Melbourne's best tourist attraction, the Grand Prix failed to attract a single vote.

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