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DATE News (chronologically)
02/21/11
f1
Melbourne residents vote 10 to 1 against race  UPDATE The Melbourne Member of Parliament whose constituency includes the Albert Park street circuit has explained that local residents have voted with a ten to one favor against the Australian Grand Prix being staged in the city after its current contract expires in 2015.

The event, despite being immensely popular with fans, has continued to make losses in recent years, much to the dismay of taxpayers. Member of Parliament Michael Danby has now said that the Grand Prix, which has made annual losses in the region of 50 million Australian dollars (31.1 million pounds) since 1996, should not see its deal renewed after 2015.

“The Grand Prix may have been a good deal in 1996, when it cost the government only 1.7 million (1 million pounds), but with falling crowd numbers and taxpayers footing a 50 million-a-year bill, the government should cut its losses and walk away,” Danby told parliament.

“Rising costs, dwindling crowds, fed-up local residents, an ambivalent Melbourne mayor...to me, everything points to Melbourne saying 'Thanks for the memories' but gracefully declining to renew the Grand Prix contract.”

02/21/11 The Australian stopover of the F1 world championship is contracted to go ahead in Melbourne until 2015, with it likely that the city will walk away from the sport then as rising costs have impacted on taxpayers.

Losses are currently being reported as high as A$50 million and Member of Parliament Michael Danby claims that ten to one residents are against maintaining the race, which has taken place in the city since 1996.

"The Grand Prix may have been a good deal in 1996, when it cost the government only $1.7 million; but, with falling crowd numbers and taxpayers footing a $50 million-a-year bill, the government should cut its losses and walk away," he told parliament in Victoria.

"Rising costs, dwindling crowds, fed-up local residents, an ambivalent Melbourne mayor... to me, everything points to Melbourne saying 'thanks for the memories' but gracefully declining to renew the Grand Prix contract."

Australia could be hosting this year’s F1 opener mind, as the political unrest and violence Bahrain has threatened the staging of the originally scheduled first race of the season, due to be held in the Gulf kingdom.

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