Bean counter questions Grand Prix

Another storm is brewing about the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The Age newspaper is reporting today that the state's Auditor-General Des Pearson will soon deliver a report about the funding of the event which warns of rising public costs and questioning claimed economic benefits. The report will also be critical of other events. The government claims that the big events bring in tens of millions of dollars to the state but as this is hard to quantify the critics tend to get the most coverage. There is no doubt that the losses from the event are mounting each year and could get up to an annual figure of $33m by 2010. The report calls for a more rigorous and consistent approach to assessing the benefits of events.

There is discussion in Melbourne as to whether the city has too many big events but this does not detract from the fact that spectators turned up in the their thousands at the weekend and the city's businesses and hotels benefited accordingly.

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