Melbourne signs new three-year AGP deal
The Herald Sun has reported that the Melbourne City Council has signed a three-year, $500,000 contract to sponsor the Australian Grand Prix.
Today’s news comes nine months after Lord Mayor Robert Doyle called for the event to be scrapped.
The Herald Sun states that the council will invest $111,460 cash and $60,000 in kind for public space hire for the 2012 event, which will also be sponsored in 2013 and 2014, with the amount rising in line with CPI (consumer price index).
Doyle, a vocal critic of the event in the past, told the Herald Sun that council sponsorship of the Grand Prix was to support an event that brought tourism to Melbourne.
“While the event is here in Melbourne, I support the event, and the city will support events in the city of Melbourne that promote tourism to Melbourne,” he said.
Last year, the GP cost taxpayers $50 million, an increase on the $1.7 million bill for the first race in 1996. It has been calculated that Victorians have paid $300 million to stage the event.
In January, Doyle wrote an article suggesting the Grand Prix should be dumped because of the cost.
“I know of no city that has voluntarily walked away from a Grand Prix, but could Melbourne be the first?” he wrote.
“The final possibility is that we decide that it has been 20 fantastic years, the benefits to the city have been enormous, but the cycle has run its course.”