Major Event Funding in Tasmania
AFL – Targa –V8 Supercars

Mr DEAN - The last dot point on page 52 of the budget papers says that continued support will be provided for AFL games. It talks about the promotions and the underwriting but also Targa Tasmania and the V-8 Supercars in Tasmania. What other support is provided by the State in relation to Targa and the V-8 Supercars? There is obviously no underwriting there or financial support to the events. Is that what it is all about?

Ms WRIEDT - No, the State Government has a contract with Octagon to run Targa Tasmania. That contract has just been extended through to and including 2009. That is a five-year extension to the contract.

Mr DEAN - There was an extension to the contract at the time or the quantum period?

Mr GADD - It is another five-year period.

Mr DEAN - And then we provide $1.3 million per year?

Mr GADD - No, over the five-year period.

Mr DEAN - That is Targa. And the V-8 Supercars?

Mr GADD - The support for the V-8s is largely representative of a capital investment at Symmons Plains by the Government and then there is another figure of about $200 000 a year, which is provided to Motorsports Tasmania to contribute towards other parts of the event.

Mr DEAN - That is the State contribution?

Mr GADD - That is right.

Ms WRIEDT - Can I put those investments from the Government into perspective because I think it is important to understand what sort of people it is attracting. There were some 60 000 spectators at the 2004 Supercars at Symmons Plains. Research was undertaken as to what percentage came from interstate. The research indicates that on the Sunday about 10 per cent of the spectators came from interstate. Research that we conducted during the 2004 Targa event indicates that it directed economic expenditure of $5 million. It received 250 entries and an average crew of 5.6 people and we had more than 600 national and international competitors who stayed an average of 10 nights. That is quite a substantial figure. Maybe that is a conservative figure because at the Targa Tasmania presentation dinner there were about 1,100 people. Talking to some of those people and asking how long they had stayed here, whole families would relocate to the State for a couple of weeks, stay in serviced apartments and spend $200 a night on food and all sorts of things. It certainly does deliver a lot to the community in terms of economic benefits.

Mr DEAN - The question was not asked from a negative point of view but to simply ascertain the amount. The value to the State is well and truly there and it is well expended. There is no doubt about that.

[11.45 a.m.]
Ms WRIEDT - That is the direct economic expenditure that we are aware of. The promotional side of it and the free publicity that Tasmania as a touring destination and as a state gets out of it, given the number of international competitors, is quite significant as well. A Japanese team just competed in Targa for the 10th time. They become true champions of Targa and they were given a special honour at the dinner recently. You cannot buy the sort of publicity we get from them going back to Japan and talking about Targa Tasmania. There were 10 international journalists following his progress. To finish 12th as well was credible. He has indicated that if his schedule allows in the future, he would like to compete again.

Mr FINCH - The member for Windermere covered most of what I was going to ask but I would like to say that I welcome this influence in major events and the extra $1.32 million. I can see good opportunities in the future for this. I wish to ask about the accommodation for the staff of the major events group. Are they down on the wharf?

Mr GADD - No, they are on the 8th floor of the ANZ Centre.

Mr FINCH - How long have they been there?

Mr GADD - Two and a half years.

Mr FINCH - I have seen a building on the wharf and there is an Events Tasmania sign on it.

Mr GADD - That is a sponsorship sign. That might still be there from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Mr FINCH - It looked like it was their office. I thought it night need an upgrade because of the work they are doing. The AFL games, Targa Tasmania and the V-8 Supercars are hugely successful. That is why I applaud the increase in it. I wanted to make sure they are being well looked after and you are massaging them.

Ms RITCHIE - I wanted to quickly follow on from Kerry's point about staff. Do you have the numbers of staff working for Events Tasmania to table for us.

Ms WRIEDT - There are six staff.

Mrs JAMIESON - Following upon activities for big events, is there anything on the horizon in international areas that we can look to bring to Tasmania for winter because we are at the opposite end of the winter and summer events?

Ms WRIEDT - The program I talked about earlier aims to bring different events to the regional parts of the State during the winter period. We have the national and special interest event grant program. That is designed to encourage and assist clubs and associations. That will encourage sporting, cultural, recreational and special interest clubs to have a national event, championship or gathering in Tasmania. There are grants available for that. There is a Tourism Australia program which encourages car and motorcycle clubs and cycling touring groups to host their next event here. Events are assessed against a number of things such as overall economic value, timing of the year, especially those scheduled between May and October, regular or recurring opportunities, links to the Tasmania brand, that they are regionally distributed throughout the State, pre- and post-touring components and potential to grow to a regional event level. I guess there is a focus in that. In the national and special interest events, events scheduled between May and August get up to $40 per visitor. If they are held outside that time, it is $20 per visitor. There is a weighting there to encourage groups in that quieter time.