The Longford Grand Prix Expo has cancelled just a few weeks out from its debut with questions being asked where $450,000 in taxpayer funding went.
The Grand Prix Expo (GPX) was planned to replace the Longford Motorama on March 11-12 with an anticipated crowd of close to 15,000 expected to attend.
But event organiser DX Industries has pulled the plug at the last minute blaming ongoing supply chain shortages, infrastructure costs and a lack of staff.
Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer said the government was looking at the situation “very closely” to find out exactly what happened.
“Obviously, when there’s taxpayers’ money concerned we have very rigorous processes in place and reporting processes in place in terms of any money that’s been spent, so we’ll need to look at that, leave no stone unturned in relation to what’s been paid and indeed the recovery of any taxpayer money that has been expended,” she told the ABC.
Northern Midlands Mayor Mary Knowles said the news was a blow to the community.
“It will mean a big difference in the economic side of things because the crowds that come to the town, they support all the businesses and all the other events that are happening at the same time,” she told the ABC.
In the meantime former Motorama organiser Justin Brown is looking to launch new event ‘The Long Weekend in Longford’ to fill the gap.
“There’s still a lot of people in and around Longford, there’s a lot of people in Tasmania and interstate that want this event to go ahead,” Brown told the ABC.
“If it dies or if it’s let go it’s going to be very, very hard to restart the thing again, and so that’s why I’m keen to keep the momentum going.”