The FIA and Australia

The FIA may not have to worry about sanctioning one of the World Championship events in Australia. The State Government of Western Australia) is seeking to end its contract in 2006 because they are concerned that Rally Australia is not economically viable. The local tourism minister Mark McGowan said that the event did not deliver a sufficient return to WA taxpayers and would be discontinued. The $3.6m spent on the event will be redirected to other promotional activities.

"We will hold the event in 2005," he said, "but we are discussing the status of 2006 with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS). I am aware that Rally Australia has been popular in the past and that many people in the community will be sad to see it go but over the past 15 years, the state government has been putting more and more money into the event to keep it going and receiving diminishing returns."

He said that the returns on the event were not good enough amounting to only $1.6 for each $1 spent whereas an event like the Ironman WA event returned $14.70 for every $1 spent.

"To make this event competitive with our other events, there would need to be either a 300 per cent increase in revenue or a cost reduction of 62%" he said.

There may be attempts by other Australian states to pick up the event, with our sources Down Under saying that Queensland may be on the verge of making a bid although Canberra has also been mentioned. Victoria looked at the feasibility of the event several years ago but decided not to pursue it.

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