Victoria’s state tourism minister has hosed down speculation from Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) chairman Ron Walker that the increasingly under the pump race could be moved to a purpose-built circuit outside of Melbourne.
tiresome debate continues about the event’s future its contract end-date in 2015, Walker told AUTOSPORT of a recent proposal to build a purpose-built circuit at Avalon, the city’s second-largest airport located some 50km south of Melbourne.
“Now that Mr. Ecclestone has raised the issue again, maybe we might go to Avalon and look at the plans,” he said in an interview yesterday.
But the state government’s tourism minister Louise Asher has played down the suggestion, arguing that the initial outlay would be beyond the government’s coffers.
“I am told that a purpose-built track would cost around $300 million, and that’s not $300 million that the government has got,” she told Melbourne’s The Age newspaper.
“Part of the reason for securing the GP was the city location, and that’s part of the reason it is here,” she added.
But Walker argues that the government has a history of significant investment in sporting facilities, citing its recent $1 billion upgrade of the city’s Tennis Centre that plays host to the Australian Open every January.
Walker added that a decision to potentially relocate the race would need to be “made next year” and that these considerations would be raised with the government “very soon after the race”.
[Original image via Herald Sun]
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