Daniel Andrews has scoffed at a possible bidding war with NSW over the Formula One Grand Prix.
He is confident Melbourne will hold the major event in April and even extended an invite to the NSW Premier.
When questioned about NSW government’s reported bid to poach the annual race once Melbourne’s contract expires in 2025, Mr Andrews took the opportunity to sledge officials north of the Murray.
“Last time I looked it was going to run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and that was like two days before we signed a 10-year deal,” he said on Friday afternoon.
“The Grand Prix is here to stay. We’re very confident that this is the major events capital of our nation, we’re not complacent in any way though.
“We get told from Sydney what they’re going to poach from us and it very rarely happens – I can’t think of an example actually.”
The glitzy race around Albert Park has served as the competition’s opening event since 1996, but its due for a contract renewal with the Victorian government in 2025.
The Andrews government has twice been forced to cancel the Formula One Grand Prix due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve got and the contract’s not ending next week,” he said.
“We’re very confident that this is the place for Formula One, this is the home of Formula One and many other major events.”
Mr Andrews said he had spoken with to the NSW government, and the issue of hosting the event was not raised.
“I don’t know, you can read into that whatever you want. It’ll be here in April and of the NSW Premier wants an invite, I’m more than happy to arrange one for him,” he said.
Victoria has finally emerges from 262 days in lockdown, with the state ready to reopen in time for the Australian Open tennis event this summer.
The state reached its 70 per cent double-dosed vaccination target on Thursday, triggering the raft of returned freedoms.
Mr Andrews promised more relaxations as early as next weekend, projecting 80 per cent of Victorians above the age of 16 would be fully vaccinated by then.