Government Investment in V8 Supercar Racing at Sydney Olympic Park

The Auditor-General, Mr Peter Achterstraat, today released his report on the Government’s investment in the V8 supercar races at Sydney Olympic Park.

“The V8 Supercars race at Homebush Bay was managed well on the day and by all reports the spectators enjoyed themselves. But a good day out is not the same as a good deal,” said Mr Achterstraat.

The Government’s negotiating position was weakened by public reports in July 2008 about the Government’s in-principle support for the event at Sydney Olympic Park. It was not until ten months later, the Government and the promoter negotiated an agreement.

“Negotiate first, announce second – not the other way around,” Mr Achterstraat said. “Initial advice to Cabinet in June 2008 was based on limited analysis and consideration of options,” he added.

The V8 major event is not a financial success for the Government.

“The five races are estimated to cost $10 million more than planned and provide nearly 25% fewer benefits than expected,” Mr Achterstraat said. “This is one major event that we can learn from,” he added.

Government involvement in major events in New South Wales needs to be better managed. Experts such as Events NSW should be used and proper business cases should be prepared.

“The Government should get the best possible advice from its experts on assessing and negotiating major event proposals,” Mr Achterstraat said. “There needs to be a more consistent and accurate costing of events by all agencies, and detailed reporting on major event performance,” he added.

Mr Achterstraat summarised the report by stating:

“NSW needs major events to help attract tourism and investment. Negotiation and subsequent management of those events needs to be done with the benefit of the NSW taxpayer in mind. A clear direction, and an agreed set of guidelines, must be developed for major events in NSW.”

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220/0403 073 664 or email