Melbourne is hosting Grand Prix racing today and over the next few days. I don’t have much interest in motor car racing but the noise is exciting and it was impossible to resist going to have a look. This however proved to be more difficult than I imagined. The course of the race is on public roads that have been sectioned off. I thought this would mean that members of the public would be able to watch the cars zip past from not too far away. However, the entire area has been fenced off and one has to buy a ticket, which start at $40 and go into the hundreds, in order to get in for a good view. I was appalled by this. Sure, if it had been a private racetrack then people can be charged for entrance, but it is a public road they are using. Public roads belong to the public and they ought to be able to see the race. To section off some public roads so that people can’t use them and also to cause further traffic congestion for the benefit of a private profit-making enterprise is unjustified. No doubt the local politicians who okayed this decision got free passes to the event.
I made this argument to a policeman who happened to be standing next to me as I tried to get a look, but he was unresponsive. Anyway, here is the view I had - I have zoomed way in and could barely see the cars. In the hotel where I am staying, the room next to mine is occupied by a professional photographer from Germany who is here to photograph the race. Hopefully for him, he gets better shots than me.