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Melbourne gets another five years

THE City of Melbourne has signed a five-year extension to its deal to run the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park. The race will now be held at the controversial venue until the end of 2006. The city originally signed a contract to run the race between 1997 and 2001 but this was extended to a six-year deal after Adelaide agreed to give up the race a year ahead of schedule in return for Melbourne agreeing to buy all of its Grand Prix equipment, notably the grandstands and the barriers. As a result the race moved to Melbourne in 1996.

Although there is still a tiny group of protesters who oppose the event, the Grand Prix in Melbourne has been a big success, according to the state government of Victoria, bringing Melbourne international exposure and economic benefits in the form of tax receipts and job-creation.

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