A member of Australia's parliament has called for the country's F1 grand prix to be dropped once the current contract comes to an end.
Michael Danby, whose Melbourne Ports electorate includes the Albert Park circuit where the race is held, said locals are tired of the event, and that the rising costs are not justified anymore.
"The grand prix may have been a good deal in 1996, when it cost the government only $1.7 million; but, with falling crowd numbers and taxpayers footing a $50 million-a-year bill, the government should cut its losses and walk away," Reuters reports him having said in Australia's parliament. "Rising costs, dwindling crowds, fed-up local residents, an ambivalent Melbourne mayor...to me, everything points to Melbourne saying, 'Thanks for the memories' but gracefully declining to renew the grand prix contract."
Last month, Melbourne's lord mayor Robert Doyle also called for the event not to continue at the end of its current deal in 2015. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said earlier this month he was open to canceling the deal if the country wanted to get rid of its grand prix.
"If the mayor thinks I'm cranky, I can probably be able to help him by proving it," said Ecclestone. "If he's not happy with the event in Australia, if he wants to cancel the contract, we'd be happy to talk to him about that. If he wishes to cease having the event in Melbourne, I am happy to discuss that with him."