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Save Albert Park
~ aiming to relocate the Grand Prix to a permanent track ~

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Oval 21 at Albert Park. Parks Victoria gives a rent subsidy to the Grand Prix amounting to several million dollars every year, as mandated in the Australian Grand Prix Act but is 'responsible' for Albert Park, including all the sporting grounds.


2013 grand prix: A claim of 69,800 fans on the Thursday. Where are they? In the main straight, during the popular V8 Supercar event, shown here? This is typical of claims that are contradicted by hard evidence. We have a set of photos that ask the same question.


About us

Save Albert Park (SAP) is a self-funded, non-party political, not-for-profit organization formed to represent its members in pursuance of its purposes:

to work towards the total and permanent termination of motor-racing in Albert Park Reserve, the restoration of the park as public open space and parkland, and to protect the park from inappropriate development.

Save Albert Park is incorporated under the Incorporation Act 1981 and its constitution provides that its income and property shall be applied solely in the furtherance of its purposes.

Postal address: Box 1300, South Melbourne BC, 3205

Office: Community Hub, South Melbourne Town Hall, 208-220Bank Street, South Melbourne.



Contacting SAP

Media enquiries: Peter Logan, mob. 0412 697 074; email

Membership/accounts: Greg Byrne, tel. 9645 1301; email

SAP Newsletter/campaign: Peter Goad 9699 7932; email


Formation of SAP - timeline

September 16, 1993: A secret deal was signed in London by Ron Walker, chairman of the Melbourne Major Events Committee and Bernie Ecclestone, the chief of the Formula One organization, under which the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix was to be transferred from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Early December 1993: Issue of the ‘Albert Park Draft Strategy Plan’, intended to guide development of the park over a 20 year period. Work had already started with the draining and dredging of the lake.

Public comment and consultation was intended to take place before the issue of a finalised Master Plan. The draft plan included the building of what is now the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, the golf driving range, the pollution control ponds, and general upgrading of park buildings and public amenities.

December 17, 1993: Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett announced that a under a 5-year contract, the Grand Prix event would be staged in Albert Park Reserve, starting in 1996. The park was to be re-developed to include a race track built to Formula 1 standards. It was claimed that the park was run down and urgently needed the refurbishment only the Grand Prix could provide. The ‘Draft Strategy Plan’ was set aside.

Almost immediately, public concerns were expressed regarding the effect of the Grand Prix event on the park and the surrounding residential areas.

February 1994: At a meeting of residents convened by Labor MP, John Thwaites, the Save Albert Park group was formed, followed by the first committee meeting on February 24. Throughout 1994, SAP organized mass protest actions and demonstrations.

November 5, 1994: SAP ‘Vigil’ in the park commenced (and continued for 10 years).

November 15. 1994: ‘Realising the Vision’, the new Master Plan for Albert Park, was released, without any prior public consultation, showing the park redesigned around a Formula 1 racetrack.

December 13, 1994: ‘Chainsaw Tuesday’, 400 trees cut down in the first stage of the building of the racetrack, part of total of over 1000 significant trees removed from the park.


The real facts SAP maintained an active protest campaign involving rallies and demonstrations until 1999, when the focus was changed to the dissemination of the real facts behind the claims issued by the state government and its agency the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. SAP recognized from the outset that factual information was a vital factor in its campaign and has produced a series of thoroughly researched ‘Fact Sheets’. Further information has been provided in leaflets and in a monthly newsletter, issued since May 1994, and in this website, established in May 1995.

SAP’s campaign is based on the following facts relating to the F1 Grand Prix event:

- since 1996, it has created a financial loss to the state of Victoria of over one billion dollars,

- it generates an annual net negative economic benefit for Victoria of around $60 million,

- there is no evidence it generates any significant post-event tourism,

- it is promoted by issuing grossly inflated estimates of attendance,

- it is high emission event which is helping to intensify climate change,

- it is a source of traffic disruption and a distressing level of noise for residents,

- it causes loss of amenity for park users and sports clubs for 4 months of every year,

- retention of the race track and pit buildings prevents development of the park to its proper potential.

SAP has never been challenged regarding the accuracy of the information it publishes.