Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grand Prix support continued by Baillieu Liberal government

Melbourne has hosted the Australian Grand Prix car race since 1996.  The race moved to Melbourne from Adelaide under the then Kennett Liberal government.  At the time, there was much controversy about the financial benefits of the race at the time, and the environmental and social impacts of holding it on a street circuit around Melbourne's Albert Park lake.

Subsequent Bracks and Brumby Labor governments continued to provide unconditional support for the race.  The Victorian government has consistently refused to disclose the amount of public money provided to race organisers and promoters.  It is in the range of tens of millions of dollars.

Successive governments have also claimed that the benefits to Melbourne and Victoria outweigh the costs, but have provide no evidence of this.

This is public money, so the public has the right to know how it is spent, and on what basis.  Hiding this expenditure is simply not acceptable.

It is therefore very disappointing that the recently elected Baillieu government has chosen to continue funding the Grand Prix, holding it on the Albert Park circuit, and to also withhold the information on public money spent on the race.

This is after Ted Baillieu's claim to provide "transparent and good government".

Successive governments have simply failed to assess public opinion on this issue.  Majority community opinion remains untested, and our democratic system has failing to provide and opportunity for anyone to vote on this matter.

We need a plebiscite on this issue now.

1 comment:

Grant said...

The costs are huge, but for those of us who remember Albert Park prior to the Grand Prix it has enabled a huge transformation of the park.
Prior to the Grand Prix there was 2 main issues with Albert Park:
1. It was filthy, not looked after and the lake you could basically walk across.
2. The residents who lived close to the park considered the park theirs and made sure you were not welcome if not a local. I know, as I studied for 2 years at the ARES Officer Training college on the edge of the lake, and we were told we should P**Off just about every weekend we attended (ie. every 2nd weekend).
One thing to consider is that, when the Grand Prix goes elsewhere, ther is no reason for the State Gov to spend copious amounts of money on the Park, and it will, over a few years return to the mess it was before the Grand Prix, especially in tight financial times.