Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — Last week the citizens of the City of Port Phillip, surrounding suburbs and beyond were subjected once again to the noise and disruption of Australian Formula One Grand Prix. Albert Park itself has been disrupted for months by the set-up for the race and will continue to be disrupted as the race is packed up. Some of the infrastructure never goes away.
The annual report of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation released in October last year revealed that the grand prix cost an incredible $97.2 million to stage and only managed to raise $32 million in ticket sales and $8 million from other sources, leaving taxpayers to cover the $57.12 million shortfall. The cost to taxpayers could be even higher, with contributed capital and cashflow hedge reserves.
The last six grand prix events have cost Victorian taxpayers around $350 million, and if it continues for the next five years it will cost another $300 million. That is $650 million just in those 11 years of the 22 years it has been running. Meanwhile the member for Albert Park and Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing says the government can only find $185 million for public housing renewals. It has, however, committed to forking out another $300 million over the life of the grand prix contract. The government has again refused to release the contract. It has remained secret for 22 years. I say the government should release the contract, get us out of the contract and spend that $300 million on public housing.