The local government says it is keen to keep the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, although it would need to be at a reduced fee when the current contract expires at the end of 2015.
Tourism minister Louise Asher has revealed that the government subsidised the 2012 race by more than $56 million despite an increase in ticket sales and revenue, while a further $6.5 million went towards the MotoGP event at Phillip Island.
Speaking to The Age
, Asher said she was keen to see the race remain on the calendar beyond its current contract but said the terms agreed by the previous government weren't sustainable and that the fees involved needed to come down.
"I'd love to have the race beyond the 2015 contract, but the contract that we discuss has to present value for taxpayers and I'm not comfortable with this level of subsidy," she said. "The Brumby Labor government signed off on a contract that is too expensive for the taxpayer in my opinion. This is a very, very expensive race and I personally am not happy with this level of subsidy.
"You can reasonably expect that without significant further cost-cutting from the (Australian) Grand Prix Corporation, that the subsidies will go up."
Save Albert Park group spokesman Peter Logan also insisted that the race couldn't go on on its current terms.
"This is a failed business model ... every other event in Melbourne is run by people who know what they're doing with very little government subsidy in purpose-built venues," he said "The grand prix is run by the government on the most expensive model you could invent and that's why it costs so much money. And it's on a secret contract as well."