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Australian state of Victoria announces benefits of hosting Australian Grand Prix

AFTER securing the rights to host the Australian Grand Prix until 2010, the state of Victoria has revealed the financial impact the race has had on the region.

The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne secured a four-year extension to host the race last week and Victoria state premier Steve Bracks has already predicted that the Grand Prix will bring in an overall net profit of A$1 billion (Australian dollars) by the year 2010.

Australia's Department of State and Regional Development also commissioned NIEIR - a private economic research and consulting group - to clarify the impact of the 2000 race on the state.

NIEIR found that the Australian Grand Prix generated a gross benefit of A$130.7 million (Australian dollars) and created 3100 full-time employment positions for the state after the race in March.

The Grand Prix also attracted 28, 979 interstate visitors, of whom 15,996 came to Victoria just for the race.

Victoria has also secured the rights to host the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix until 2006, much to the delight of Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ronald Walker.

Walker said: "Victoria is very lucky to have two Grands Prix a year, and so neatly spaced six or seven months apart. The world can now see the beauty of our state, the way we run major events, and that Victoria is a great place to live and do business."

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