"The annual report of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation reveals that this year’s F1 grand prix cost an incredible $97.2 million to stage, but only managed to raise $32m in ticket sales and $8m from ‘other sources’, leaving taxpayers to cover the $57.12 million shortfall, Greens MP for the Southern Metropolitan Region,” Sue Pennicuik said today.
“The cost to taxpayers could be even higher with ‘contributed capital’ and ‘cash flow hedge reserves’ totalling more than $40m listed in the notes for the financial statements.
“The last six grand prix events have cost Victorian taxpayers around $350 million! It’s a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money that both Labor and Liberal governments have presided over for 21 years,” Ms Pennicuik said.
“If this continues, as it appears it inevitably will, the grand prix will cost Victorians at least an additional $250 million in the next five years - that is $600 million if added to the last six years.
“Victorians are sick of hundreds of millions of dollars of their money being squandered on this event every year for the sake of a dwindling number of spectators and absolutely no benefit to the vast majority of Victorians.
“The Grand Prix Corporation is not even required to accurately count the number of attendees, like all other sporting events do, despite this massive cost to taxpayers. It just ‘estimates’ them every year. This year’s ‘estimated attendance of 296,600 fans’ is not believable or independently verified. The Grand Prix Corporation should be made to be fully accountable in this regard, but the government refuses to act.
"The Government also needs to be open and transparent with Victorians about this secretive event and release the contracts, signed by it and by the former government.
"Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars more on the grand prix, Victorian taxpayers’ money should be invested in sporting and cultural events with actual benefits to Victorians and the savings spent on other pressing needs such as public housing,” Ms Pennicuik said.
For further comment: Ms. Pennicuik 03 9530 8399