Honda F1 website

MARCH 23, 2006

Australians gearing up for tobacco-free trouble

Australia will ban all tobacco advertising at Albert Park and Phillip Island after October 1 this year. To date the two venues have been allowed to continue with tobacco branding at the Grand Prix and Motocycle Grand Prix events but that special dispensation runs out this year and thay spell trouble ahead as the Formula One group may be looking for compensation as the contract with Melbourne is believed to include a clause which allows FOM to cancel the deal if tobacco advertrising is banned. Similar clauses exist in other GP contracts and there are fears that it will mean Melbourne having to make a big payment to keep the deal on track.

The Australian Federal Government has already said that funding for such events are the responsibility of state and local governments and that there is no money coming to help out. Victorian state Tourism Minister John Pandazopoulos has already started campaigning for central government money because he believes the country as a whole benefits from the event, but only Victorian tax-payers contribute to the bill. The Victorian state government supports the tobacco ban but knows that it may end up costing the state more money.