It’s about this time of year where taxpayers and local residents complain, motorheads rejoice, and Albert Park is closed for a couple of days.
Personally, I welcome the Grand Prix to Melbourne. For a week it launches Melbourne onto the international stage, something I, and all Melbournians should feel proud about. But sadly, I fear for the event’s safety. I understand many residents see it as a couple weeks of inconvenience, or a waste of money. Yet I see that view as rather selfish. To complain about an event that many others enjoy, just because they don’t like it, is quite egotistical. Just because I don’t enjoy fashion week in Melbourne for one reason or another, doesn’t mean that I’m going to protest and complain about its existence. In life, people need to be tolerant of others. If they do not like the race, they should be tolerant to those of us who do.
Often, these people need to look at the bigger picture. It may not seem apparent at first, but the economic benefits do exist. Dianne Smith, the chief executive from the Victoria Events Industry Council said the GP “delivers a combined annual economic impact of more than $1.4 billion… and has generated exposure for Melbourne valued at $816 million in the past four years”
Similarly, the Victorian Government firmly believes that the race is simply too big of an asset to give away. Sydney has the Opera House, Queensland has the Great Barrier Reef, and Melbourne has world-class events. To lose the race now, would mean losing a significant part of Melbourne’s reputation as a world sporting capital, and a part of our identity.
Melbourne’s Grand Prix’s future is uncertain, so I thought I’d create the following infographic, not because it supports my argument, but rather pays tribute to the great race itself, because it may not be here for much longer.