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Melbourne may drop F1 race after 2014 – premier

2014 could be the last time Melbourne hosts the Australian grand prix, state Victorian premier John Brumby has admitted.

The race’s annual taxpayer-funded losses have grown to almost $50 million, moving the ruling Labor Party to consider not renewing the current contract.

“I know there’s a range of views in the community and it is a costly major event, but we’ve got it until 2014, and really we’ll look at whether we go beyond that,” Brumby told the national radio broadcaster ABC.

He added that the debut race in 1996 was amid a broader major events programme for the state.

“Certainly when we first won that (event) in Victoria it had a newness and a freshness and the longer you go with these things that freshness can obviously diminish a little,” said Brumby.

The other side of state politics is also questioning the value of the grand prix, with opposition leader Ted Baillieu saying the cost is “a real worry”.

 © RIF | GMM