The Australian Grand Prix could have a new home in the coming years, if an audacious plan revealed by the New South Wales state government comes off.

Reports surfacing during the 2010 event claim that the city of Sydney is poised to offer an alternative to the race's established home in Melbourne, amid claims that the current organisers have become too accustomed to Formula One returning to its streets every year.

According to AAP, initial costings and plans have already been drawn up to stage a night-time grand prix - a sticking point with the Melbourne race - from 2015, the first year after Albert Park's present contract expires. State premier Kristina Keneally and events minister Ian Macdonald revealed details of the project on Saturday, and claimed that they had already been in touch with F1 insiders who can make the event happen.

"I've already started to make contact with the F1 promoters, and we're already having a good look at the facilities and infrastructure that we have available for such an event," Macdonald told reporters in Sydney, "They can rest assured down in Melbourne that they're going to have a hard time, they haven't got this event to themselves.

"They're complacent, they're somewhat arrogant and we believe we can offer a night grand prix, which is something the promoters we know need to service their European viewership."

Neither Macdonald or Keneally have been to a grand prix, but insist that they will be able to bring the event - onen of the biggest on both the F1 and Australian sporting calendars - to New South Wales, with a site close to the former Olympic Park in the Homebush district of Sydney having apparently been earmarked as a potential venue. The area staged a successful V8 Supercar event at the end of 2009, and would continue Australia's record of hosting F1 on its streets, rather than a purpose-built facility.

"There are a few hurdles we will need to overcome to get the track here in Sydney, but I am confident we can work through these challenges," Macdonald continued, "F1 motorsport is a major international event and there is no doubt that the Telstra 500 V8 Supercar race in Sydney last year was a huge success. It demonstrates that there is strong community support for motorsport in Sydney and we would consider bidding for [the F1] event in the future."

Macdonald admitted that the cost of hosting the grand prix remained 'vague', but said that the sums were being done in a concerted bid to tempt the race away from its current home, while Keneally reasoned that while she wasn't 'going to sit here and put a dollar figure on it, these sorts of big events are big for the city, good for our economy and why we're in the game of major events'.

The cost of staging the race in Melbourne, however, has been a source of ammunition for opponents of the event, and the NSW state opposition has been outspoken of the government's plan, calling it 'uncontemplated' and estimating that it could cost as much as $100m to secure the rights to the event for just three years, and then a further $30m a year to host it.

"It's pretty scandalous, the government just seems to have come up with this based on a very flimsy plan," shadow major events minister George Souris told AAP.

A claimed increase in attendance at this year's Melbourne event - up almost 4000 on last year to the end of qualifying day - has provided a boost for the current organisers, with head man Ron Walker claiming that the NSW government 'lacked the focus, passion or drive to seek major events'.

"Ever since the Olympics finished, the NSW Government has been in hibernation because, instead of capitalising on the Olympics, they did nothing," Walker said, "There is not one single sporting event in NSW today that commands a free-to-air audience in the world like this event - that is complacency at its worst. We plan years in advance, and you can't just snap your fingers and expect it will work. It's hard to see how Sydney could replicate Melbourne's winning formula."

Home hero Mark Webber, meanwhile, remained ambivalent, although he saw no reason to switch a successful event away from its current home.

"Look, this is not the Melbourne Grand Prix for me, it's the Australian Grand Prix," he insisted, "We should be proud of having a big event like this in Australia.

"I know Australia's very territorial when it comes to separate states and, in many ways, we are different countries within one, but it's a big country and you can get here to watch the race from any part of Australia if you're keen. I don't have a clue where they're going to run a grand prix in Sydney at the moment.

"Of course, it's a long way away if they're looking to design something half decent, but there's nothing wrong with this venue. All the drivers like it, and transport is sensational. Seb [Vettel] says we need to resurface it in places a little bit, but we can do that if we have to. You always think it's greener somewhere else. Adelaide put on a good show and so has this place - and we've been here for a long time."


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