Grand Prix an expensive race to the bottom


Greens candidate for Macnamara, Steph Hodgins-May has joined with Greens Transport Spokesperson and MP for Prahran to call for the end of the Grand Prix in Melbourne.

A ten-year contract will cost Victoria at least $550 million over its lifetime.

The costs to stage the Grand Prix has skyrocketed from less than $2 million when it was first held in 1996, to around $4 million in 2000 and now around $55 million today.

The Grand Prix corporation still refuses to conduct an accurate count of its attendance.

Every year the Grand Prix creates enormous disruptions to the residents of surrounding areas, and entirely takes over Albert Park, shutting down community sporting groups that use the area.

With limited green space in Macnamara, it is an impost on residents, and with out-of-control costs, it is a burden for Victoria.

Quotes from Sam Hibbins MP, Victorian Greens spokesperson for Major Events:

“It’s time to wave the chequered flag on the Grand Prix at Albert Park.

“Continuing the race is now just an ego boost for government ministers, who know it’s too expensive, with questionable benefits and a massive disruption on local amenity.  

“Every year the state government sends millions of dollars down the drain, refuses to conduct an accurate count of attendances, while turning valuable Green space into a construction site for months.

“With so many pressing needs to help our state revive after the past 2 year, this massive expense & disruption can no longer be justified.”

Quotes from Steph Hodgins-May, Candidate for Macnamara:

“The pandemic woke up many people to the importance of having a liveable suburb – one where there is open space, access to community sport outdoors and a peaceful environment.

“The Grand Prix flies in the face of that, providing luxury entertainment for a limited number, while everyone in our area picks up the tab.”

Quotes from Hugo Armstrong, President of the Albert Park Community Sporting Tenants Association:

“Albert Park Reserve is the biggest community sports precinct in Victoria, and possibly Australia. Thousands of amateur sports people - men and women, boys and girls - play a wide range of traditional and modern sports in Albert Park Reserve throughout the entire year.

“The Grand Prix cuts across these activities, pushing clubs off most of Albert Park’s sports facilities for up to two months each year, for preparation, the event itself, pack-up, and then rehabilitation of grounds.

“Sport is essential for the physical and mental wellbeing of the ordinary community, and losing such a big chunk of the sporting season really undermines that goal.”