Saturday, March 14, 2009

Commercial-in-confidence

For the right to operate the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks time the Victorian Government will pay Bernie Ecclestone $47 million.  In a civilised society politicians who abuse public trust in this way should be sacked and then jailed.  It is a totally disgraceful waste of public monies.

The $47m figure has only just been revealed.  Apparently Ecclestone threatened to take the Grand Prix away from any Government which reveals his fee. State Premier Brumby when asked of the fee claimed it is 'commercial-in-confidence'.  I wonder.  I suppose I have a nasty, suspicious mind but could it be that political leaders from Kennett to Brumby have paid these bribes to Ecclestone to secure a handful of petrol head votes from among the morons who go in for this 'sport'.  It would spoil the pollie fun to have to tell the adult population of Victoria - most of whom have zero interest in this retarded activity - that they are paying for it.

The Auditor General of Victoria claims that benefits from the Grand Prix had been overstated by $100 million.   There is no demonstrated net economic benefit to the state from it. Let's end this nonsense foreover - no more attempts to buy a few lousy votes for an environmentally-unsound, pointless activity.  If moron petrol heads want to watch this sort of activity let them pay for it entirely and include in that the cost of the externalities (reduced amenity values, emissions, noise and increased traffic congestion around the venue).

7 comments:

conrad said...

I couldn't agree more.

Macondo said...

You are absolutely right on this one, Harry. It's a disgrace. And Labor promised greater transparency in government. It's just money down the drain and into the stinking Albert Park atmosphere.
I'm not sure about appeasing the petrol heads; I think it's this cargo cult mentality about 'promoting Melbourne' and other such guff. There is no economic justification for continuing with it. As if the petrol heads in Europe and elsewhere who get up at all hours to watch it are the least bit interested in where it's being held.

hc said...

Macondo, You are right. any daft 'promoting Melbourne' activity is justified by cargo cult reasoning. The general line - Promote the Grand Prix and think of the tourism you will generate!

The tourism benefits claimed are generally identified as incomes generated on the assumption that resources used have no opportunity value. The correct measure is the economic surplus generated less the external costs generated.

If government wants to give $47m to someone to run anything the benefit in terms of surplus must be demonstrated. Suppose the surplus is $1000 per tourist. Would the Grand Prix generate an extra 47,000 tourists who came to Victoria from outside Australia (internal tourism is a transfer from a national standpoint) because they saw the GP on TV?

The claim does not pass the smile test.

farmdoc said...

I have never seen the results of any surveys of inbound tourism that address the question of how many, if any, people come to Melbourne (or Victoria or Australia) due entirely or subsantially because of the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne. Adjuntively, I've recently learned that of a CFA brigade having to raise money to buy its fire truck. What a disgrace that Victoria can pay Ecclestone $47M for a blighted car race yet we can't find the money to fully equip our firefighters.

Macondo said...

farmdoc, good point. Don't forget, too, amongst other things, the ONE!!! new train that's coming!

At a guess, I wouldn't put the external F1GP tourists at more than about 1000, not including the entourage of car teams and hangers-on. It's all about TV viewers, which is what Ecclestone is actually selling; he couldn't care less about numbers at the race.

derrida derider said...

You'll get no argument from me on this one, Harry. But where is the Opposition in all this? Why aren't they pointing out how many hospital beds $47m buys?

The answer, of course, is that are prey to the same illusions.

Macondo said...

The other answer, derrida d., is that they hardly exist, the so called 'opposition'.
But you're right, they are locked into this F1asco by the fact of its being instigated by the Kennett govt's best mate, Ron Walker. I remember well the photos of Ron and Jeff disporting themselves daftly around a F1 machine.
If the opposition can't oppose Brumby effectively on big issues like the desal plant and trains, you can't expect them to do so on cargo cult items where they simply don't have the philosophical equipment.