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Government says no to Australian GP venue relocation

The local Victorian state government on Thursday threw a spanner in the works of plans to relocate the Australian grand prix from Albert Park after the current contract expires in 2015.

The FIA had approved a study into private sector plans to host the race at a $200m permanent circuit in Avalon, about a 40-minute drive from Melbourne.

But amid suggestions the new track could accommodate night racing and be cheaper to run, major events minister Tim Holding said the government wants the event to remain being held in the late afternoon in the city.

“We like it here, it’s right in the heart of the city, you get the aerial shots of Melbourne, it’s got the lake, the bay, the CBD in it.

“If you went 20, 30, 40 kilometres out of Melbourne you lose all that,” he told the Herald Sun newspaper.