What’s it like to live next to the Grand Prix?

The Grand Prix track from level 27 of Park Towers.


Over the next four days pictures of the Melbourne Grand Prix will be beamed around the world, and a television audience of up to 50 million people will see the Park Towers public housing estate looming over the north-west corner of the track.


But what is it like to live with the Grand Prix on your doorstep?


The VPTA visited Park Towers today to ask residents what they thought of the big race.


One tenant remembered taking part in the protest to keep the race out of Albert Park.


“We didn’t want our park being taken over for weeks and weeks every year. It’s not just the race weekend, it takes a long time to build the grandstands and then take them down again.”


She said that during race time the noise in unbearable. “The higher up you live, the louder it gets. Many people try to go away to visit relatives while the race is on.”


Other issues raised by tenants were problems with crowd behaviour, aircraft noise from military flyovers and helicopters and disruption to public transport.


“It’s impossible to go about your usual business.  The trams are concentrating on the Grand Prix crowds, so if you want to go into the city to shop they won’t stop for you, even when they are empty.”


Another resident said he was originally in favour of the race being so close. But as the years have passes the novelty has worn off.


“I don’t like the race so much anymore, and luckily my hearing isn’t what it used to be so the noise doesn’t bother me too much.”


One thing that all tenants agreed on was that they would much rather see the $60 million in Government funding spent on building public housing, rather than underwriting the Grand Prix.