Rally Australia to Switch Cities

The Australian round of the World Rally Championship has been told to try to find a new home in time for next year's event, after the West Australian government declared that it was no longer willing to bankroll the Perth event

Rally Australia to Switch Cities

The rally has been held in Perth since 1987 but a fall in profits for the event, against the backdrop of other sporting spectacles including the Australian University Games bringing more money into the region, has acted as the catalyst for a change.

West Australian tourism minister Mark McGowan believed that the time had come for the rally to shift bases - and indicated that the FIA would now try and find a new home venue for the event.

"In WA its time has come," he said. "It is not unusual for events to be moved on when they get a bit tired in the same venue. It may do well in another state, we are not saying it is a lemon - we are just saying its time has come in WA.

"We haven't taken this decision lightly, and we have taken it on very sound and very reasonable economic reasons - we need to get the best outcomes for taxpayers dollars in WA that we possibly can. At present Rally Australia is not providing that outcome."

The event will definitely remain in Perth this year and McGowan has indicated that if another venue cannot be located for 2006 then it can remain there for another year - but it will definitely not host the event in 2007.

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