Words – WA Sunday Times
PERTH MOTORPLEX FUTURE – UPDATE IN TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES
Sunday 2 April, 2017
Racing Hub has reprieve By Martin Flynn WA’s motorsport hub will remain on track for another year but the State Government is still scrambling to find a private bidder to secure its future….
Perth Motorplex is currently operated by WA government agency VenuesWest, which last week confirmed it would keep doors open until June 2018 even if the facility runs at a loss.
An expression-of-interest period that finished last month drew responses from Australia and overseas, VenuesWest chief executive David Etherton said.
Mr Etherton said more than 80 groups in the motorsport industry were contacted before the public release of the EOI process, but it would take several months to consider proposals to operate the venue.
“We have every intention of completing the process and undertaking a transition period within the June 2018 time-frame,” he said. “If an operator has not been appointed at this stage, a further decision will be made at the time regarding VenuesWest’s continued involvement and the ongoing operation of the venue.”
VenuesWest took on “interim management” last July after Kwinana Motorplex withdrew from operating the venue.
Asked if the stadium would continue to run even at a loss to taxpayers, Mr Etherton said “VenuesWest will manage the venue until June 2018, or until transitioning to a new operator if this occurs prior to that date.
“The season hasn’t finished so the financial performance…is not yet finalised.” A 2015-16 financial summary for the $29.3 million Motorplex showed it paid VenuesWest $439,158 that season.
Speedway veteran David Priolo, who was to retire after last night’s Gold Cup Grand Final, said it was “imperative” the Motorplex stayed open.
Mr Etherton said this season, which finishes on May 31, would be delivered and 2017-18 was under development.