Adelaide 500

Adelaide 500

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:03): My question is also to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment with regard to the Adelaide 500. Can the minister inform this council:

1. What will be the financial impact on both tourists and ticket sales, being the differential between the proposed changed dates for the Adelaide 500 from March to January beginning in 2020?

2. What communications has the minister had with regard to this race?

3. Will there be any cost associated with construction in the Parklands over the January period that would be different to the March period?

4. What consultation will take place with the local residents and businesses of the city if the race is moved to January?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:04): I thank the honourable member for her question and her ongoing keen interest in motorsport in South Australia. This was an article that was featured in The Advertiser just recently stating that Supercars are talking about a change of time. There has been no formal approach to the South Australian Tourism Commission from Supercars about doing it. They are just exploring options at this point.

As I said, there have been some informal discussions. There is certainly no intention at this stage for a definite change; it is just they are exploring it. From my recollection from reading the article, the Supercars want to have a winter break. They are trying to look to have a season that's late summer, autumn and then a bit of a break and then spring and early summer. Something that is pretty important to us in South Australia is to maintain the first race of the season. Clearly, any change to the timing would create some problems. I think we would all be concerned with the clash between the Tour Down Under, if that was to happen, and the Adelaide 500.

There has been a newspaper article published saying that, yes, Supercars are looking at options to refresh and modernise. I think anybody who has a big event always likes to look at ways that they can refresh them or make a different offering. It's very preliminary discussions. Certainly, with the contract in place to 2021, as members would know, the South Australian government, through the Tourism Commission and our major events arm, is having very preliminary soundings, if you like, from Supercars. We will certainly not be doing anything that puts any of our existing events at risk. As the member is concerned about construction of the grandstands in the Parklands over Christmas, as we know, the construction starts in late November and goes right across that period. I think all members—

The Hon. T.A. Franks interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I couldn't hear that interjection. The Tourism Commission and the team are making sure that we don't compromise. I think they would be very proud of the Tour Down Under. The Tour Down under is the largest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere. It's a very important part of our events calendar and something that we should be very proud of.

Likewise, the Adelaide 500 is one of the leading motorsport festivals in the world and we want to make sure that that is still celebrated and enjoyed by those who enjoy it, but there are no plans at this point. It's just very preliminary soundings by Supercars to see what the appetite is to potentially change. As I said, the Tour Down Under and what we have in the first race of the season for Supercars are important, but certainly there are no decisions and no plans to have an early summer or late summer race in Adelaide.


Adelaide 500

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:07): Given the quoted financial benefit of being first, what is that financial benefit in both income and ticket sales?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:08): Being the first event of the year always is the best. Certainly, the most recent one, the 2018 event, we had some 273,500 people visit it, which is an 11 per cent increase.

The Hon. K.J. Maher: Thanks Labor.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Thanks to the Liberal Party that actually started the event. You forget whose idea it was in the first place. You have such a short memory. Of course, you were still at school in the time, I suspect.

The PRESIDENT: Through me, the Hon. Mr Ridgway.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: They were large numbers. The economic benefit was $41.94 million to the South Australian economy. That is what we got from last year's event. It was the first event—

The Hon. T.A. Franks: What is the impact of being first rather than mid-season?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: The start of any season is important, unless it is a footy season when the grand final brings the whole season to an end. The first race of the year is the one with new cars, new models, new excitement, new drivers, new engines. It is where all the excitement comes with the first one. It's the excitement around it. You can see huge numbers—a quarter of a million people and nearly a $42 million economic benefit. Clearly, the first event of the year is much better. It is the biggest in the nation.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Mr President, they keep interjecting. I don't know why they can't help themselves.

The PRESIDENT: You were responding to the interjections, the Hon. Mr Ridgway. You were responding to them and therefore you are encouraging them.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: It is the biggest event on the motor sport calendar. Clearly, it's the first one; if the others were more important there would be more people attending the other events.

The PRESIDENT: I will go to the Hon. Mr Pangallo for his supplementary and then I will go to the Hon. Ms Scriven.


Adelaide 500

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:10): Supplementary: what is the deadline for the decision to be made with regard to the 2020 season?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:11): That is a matter of negotiation. We have got a contract until 2021, with Supercars to deliver the event in 2021. So that would require negotiation between both parties to change the current arrangements that we have, which is the first race of the season up until 2021. That would be a matter for negotiation.


Adelaide 500

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:11): Supplementary: does the contract guarantee the first race of the season or does the contract guarantee a race of the season?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:12): My understanding is that it guarantees the first race of the season.


Adelaide 500

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:12): Supplementary: how can the first race of the season be in March in 2020 if the first race of the season is going to be in January of 2020? Can the minister clarify?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:12): I answered that question earlier. This is a preliminary discussion. There have been no formal discussions at all. We have a contract until 2021 with Supercars.

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