Posted on 31. May, 2010 in Victoria

The Brumby Government has secured the long-term future of another of Victoria’s major events, with the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to remain at Phillip Island until at least 2016.

The latest contract extension is a humiliating blow for the New South Wales Major Events Minister Ian Macdonald who said NSW would steal Victoria’s major events including the Formula One Grand Prix, Superbikes World Championships and the MotoGP – all now signed to long-term contracts in Victoria.

Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was a great event and its rightful home was in Victoria.

“Victorians love their sport and securing the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix confirms Melbourne’s status as the sporting capital of the world,” Mr Holding said.
“We are proud to support major sporting events that place Melbourne and Victoria in the national and international spotlight and boost tourism to our State.
“The MotoGP is continuing to grow and this year’s Championship could be decided between Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden and our very own Casey Stoner at Phillip Island later this year.

This year marks the 16th running of the world’s premier class of motorcycle racing at the iconic Phillip Island circuit, which will take place on 15-17 October.

The event attracted more than 105,000 people last year and is one of Australia’s largest major regional sporting events.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation also announced today that Iveco (Industrial Vehicles Corporation) would continue as naming rights sponsor for the 2010 and 2011 events.

Mr Holding paid tribute to the tireless behind the scenes work of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and the Victorian Major Events Company.

“Victoria has a proud history of securing and hosting the best major sporting events in the world and we have developed a highly capable major events industry which make these events a success,” he said.

Recent major events wins include:

  • Melbourne has signed the Formula One Grand Prix until 2015;
  • The Australian Open will stay in Melbourne until at least 2036 with work starting earlier this year on the $363 million first stage to re-develop Melbourne Park;
  • The AFL Grand Final will remain at the Melbourne Cricket Ground until 2037; and
  • The World Superbike Championships was re-signed in February this year keeping the event at Phillip Island until 2014.

“We have a calendar of sporting events that is envied worldwide – from the Australian Open Tennis, Formula 1 Grand Prix, AFL Grand Final, to the Boxing Day Test, Spring Racing Carnival and Australian Masters Golf,” Mr Holding said.

“Melbourne’s calendar is also enhanced by a suite of one-off events and this year we will host the world’s best cyclists at the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Geelong, Australia and New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup and The Presidents Cup in 2011.”

This year, Melbourne was for the third successive time crowned the world’s Ultimate Sports City ahead of Singapore, London, Berlin and Sydney.

Mr Holding also today released figures which showed the gap between interstate visitors coming to Melbourne and Sydney has been widening.

“Melbourne had over 700,000 more interstate visitors than Sydney last year and is by far the most popular city in Australia for interstate travellers, which is great for the Victorian economy and local jobs,” he said.

“In addition to our major sporting events, interstate visitors are attracted to Melbourne because of our outstanding food and wine, shopping, our theatre shows like Jersey Boys and Mary Poppins and regional destinations close to the city including Daylesford and the Yarra Valley. 

“I think the big difference is that you go to Sydney once and you have seen it all but you can come to Melbourne four times each year and get a totally different experience which is why people keep coming back.”

Interstate Overnight Visitor Estimates  
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Melbourne 3,704,000 3,973,000 4,047,000 4,165,000 4,024,000
Sydney 3,671,000 3,737,000 3,604,000 3,757,000 3,288,000
Brisbane 1,962,000 2,216,000 2,003,000 2,083,000 1,857,000
Gold Coast 1,972,000 1,771,000 2,092,000 1,789,000 1,714,000
Canberra 2,001,000 1,883,000 1,957,000 1,922,000 1,711,000
Adelaide 1,220,000 1,372,000 1,486,000 1,351,000 1,347,000
Perth 839,000 991,000 1,036,000 952,000 814,000
Hobart 599,000 683,000 645,000 560,000 617,000
Darwin 408,000 378,000 502,000 410,000 444,000
Alice Springs 211,000 187,000 175,000 188,000 186,000
Percentage difference between Melbourne and Sydney 0.9% 6.3% 12.3% 10.9% 22.4%

Source: Tourism Research Australia International Visitor Surveys 2005-2009

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