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Phillip Island MotoGP in jeopardy over Linfox dispute

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by greenguzzi, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...-linfox-dispute/2006/03/10/1141701696976.html

    Bike race in jeopardy over Linfox dispute
    By Cameron Houston
    March 11, 2006

    The future of the Phillip Island MotoGP is in doubt following a dispute between racetrack owner Lindsay Fox and the State Government over who should pay for improvements at the circuit.

    The contract to host the international event expires this year and Linfox Property Group has refused to renew the contract with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

    Linfox Property Group has pressured the State Government to finance projects, including resurfacing the track and extending existing garage facilities, before it extends the contract with race organisers until 2011.

    The event already costs Victorian taxpayers $7 million annually. A bid for Federal Government funding was rejected last year.

    Linfox has also lobbied the Department of Sustainability and Environment to support the rezoning of the 370-hectare site from rural to special use, which would enable it to build a hotel, 506 holiday suites and a golf course designed by Greg Norman. It already has a permit for a 160-room hotel on the site.

    A planning dispute looms after the Bass Coast Shire Council recently asked Planning Minister Rob Hulls to rezone the land for farming, which would prevent parking and camping on the site during events.

    Linfox Property Group general manager Andrew Nicholls said the Phillip Island circuit had slipped behind international standards and was in urgent need of an upgrade.

    A Department of Tourism spokeswoman said negotiations continued and keeping the event at Phillip Island was paramount.

    Bass Coast councillor and Phillip Island resident Kelly Simrajh said a request for a walking path along the property's cliff-tops had been rejected by Linfox Property Group.
  2. Classic story of local vs commercial interests getting in the way of history, with the federal politics not wanting a bar of any of it.

    Will have to watch how this one plays out. 506 holiday suites would somewhat ruin the appearance of the area. Attempting to rezone the area as farmland is an equally insane reaction.

    PI is a top track. Lets hope that the interested parties don't screw it up for the rest of us.

    Move the F1 GP down there, and this problem would be solved quick smart. ;)
  3. Having joined the Summit Club this year, I'll be watching this very closely.
  4. What is Mr Fox up to, or is he, 506 holiday suites next to a used almost every day race track, dont think so. One or the other would have to go. It would be good to really know whats going on at P.I.
  5. Fox smells dollars and that could be trouble.

    I thought Fox already had permission to built the Hotel and golf cource ( like we need more of them) it was a forgon conclusion.
    I don't think Fox would want to loose the Moto GP, but I bet he wouldn't mind using it as leverage to get what he wants.
  6. ...or even a golf course for that matter. Pretty sure that most golfers enjoy getting away from the noise, rather than having a trackful of wailing high performance bikes and cars less than 1km away.
  7. Why would the shire want to prevent parking and camping on site? Does it no longer want such events as the WSBs, MotoGP and V8 touring cars to be held there?

    Or does it want to force patrons to park elsewhere and maybe use local transport and accomodation businesses to pick up the slack?
  8. That sounds more like it... :mad:
  9. :LOL: There's the day's classic, thanks mate!!

    I don't view the apartments as a big issue; anyone who bought there and planned to live there would KNOW what the track was used for. If a person bought there and then complained, he'd get laughed out of town. I think they are more likely to be used as holiday flats and accommodation during the events held there. IF that's the case, look to Lindsay Fox to be INCREASING the useage of the track, not diminishing it.....
  10. Maybe I should ask the government to build my carport and repave our driveway.
  11. This is my angle on it to.
    Fox is making money and the Taxpayer is subsidising.
    (Yes I know there are arguments about influx of business into the state and the taxes Fox pays)
    But at the end of the day. If his company can't make a profit on the event, maybe someone else should be running it instead of the taxpayer propping him and his multi million dollar empire up.
  12. Interestingly, I was asking Steve Brouggy how he found things when he took the ASBS to Malaysia a few years ago. He commented on how state of the art the facilities were there, due in part to the F1.
    It would be interesting if PI was brought up to that level.

    (Don't get me wrong, I love riding there.)
  13. Sepang is a superb circuit.
    Clean, most of the grandstands are undercover, bitumen & concrete paths, stunning flower beds, oh and did I mention clean?
    Even has a go-kart track shaped like the F1 circuit. But, during the F1 it is booked out by corporates :(

    Phillip Island is a disgrace. Sure the track may be good and the views picturesque but the rest of it is worse than you would find in 3rd world Country's.

    The dead grass, rocks, gravel, 985 year old buildings, woefull corregated iron pit sheds.

    Fox needs to either pull his millions out and start spending some to get it up to scratch or he can write it off as a bad investment in the near future.
  14. You cant blame Linfox for trying to get Government funding for an event that's run by a Government Department (GP Corp).

    Linfox don't run any events (except for the World Supers & I think the bike historic event), even the V8Supercars are run by AVE$CO Events (AVESCO is now known as V8SA) and PI Ops just rent them the track and various facilities for a suitable fee. Just like the Hartwell MC & various car clubs hire the circuit for their events.

    Motorsport history is littered with examples of track owners upgrading facilities using other peoples money, Heathcote Dragway & Bacchus Marsh Speedway spring to mind immediately where other parties leased the tracks and upgraded facilities and then went belly up leaving the owner with an upgraded track.

    Sandown was upgraded to full FIA international specs in 1984 using a Government grant which showed Europe we could run major events which helped us get the F1 & 500cc GP's to Australia so it's not all bad.
  15. wouldnt that be a good thing? i've never been, but the traffic looked pretty torturous
  16. Bikes get around the island ok, but it is painful in a car at GP time. Supers isn't anywhere near as busy, the traffic actually moves (ok slowly... but it moves).
  17. Given the way they charge down there for everything else, I doubt I could afford to go if I relied on them to provide a service!
    It'd become a four-figure exercise just going for the day!

    I agree this is an ambit claim on the part of Linfox to see what they can squeeze out of Bracksy. I don't think it will affect the viability of the circuit.
    The issue with the parking could be the same thing on the part of Bass Shire - or it could be the influence of the anti-development lobby down there, which is pretty strong.
  18. Considering the billions they've wasted on the non-event that is the Commonwealth Games. I can't see anything wrong with handing over a measily 7mil per year for something as acclaimed and world reknowned as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. They'd spend more money on cricket and football and who outside Australia gives a toss about that?
    I also think moving the F1 GP down there would be a good idea. Having major events in the middle of the city is never good. Traffic and parking are issues and it's a huge disturbance to residents and businesses with very little reward.
  19. I don't think the roads would handle the volume of traffic that the F1 GP generates.

    The roads on and off the island are gridlocked after the motorcycle GP... it would be midnight before anything moved with twice the attendees and all of them in cars instead of bikes!
  20. actually i'm rather pleased my tax money goes towards something i can enjoy. i don't use the health system (touch wood), i'm not on welfare, i don't work for the public service, i don't have kids in school, i have to pay road tolls over and above my taxes so it appears infrastructure isn't part of what my taxes go towards any more, they sold the assets we used to own and run with our tax money ie utilities, and i don't give a flying f*!k about the commonwealth games, so it seems there's not a damn thing i pay my taxes for that i get any use out of and i rather like the idea of other victorians subsidising something in my life for a change rather than the other way around!!!

    leaving all that aside, i reckon Fox is just playing a negotiation game. i can't imagine he won't ultimately renew the contract after a bit of argy bargy. he's too much of a petrol head himself.

    is this like the Mile High Club G? :grin: