Secret plans are being tabled to move the Australian Grand Prix - the traditional Formula 1 season curtain-raiser since 1996.

The Herald Sun - Australia's biggest-selling daily newspaper - revealed the plans, citing Channel Nine News as having reported on a meeting between Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker and Formula One Management boss Bernie Ecclestone in London last week.

Should the move materialise, the race would leave Albert Park once its contract runs out in 2010, after a recent report on the 2006 event showed a staggering loss of $34.6m over the course of the weekend. The new venue would likely be Flemington Racecourse, after the Sandown Racecourse site - the original favourite on the eastern side of the city - was deemed to be too small.

The plan has not yet been considered by the State Government or Victoria Racing Club, but it is believed the change of venue could save more than $20m in set-up costs each year.

A decision is due over the coming months.



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