Motorsport recognised by new parliamentary group

06 Mar 2023
Motorsport in the spotlight in Canberra
3 mins by James Pavey

A new Parliamentary Friends of Motorsport group has been established to help facilitate opportunities and discussions with members of Federal Parliament. The group was celebrated and officially announced at a breakfast at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday morning. There were a number of high-profile guests in attendance, including the Minister for Sport Anika Wells and Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM. Five-time Supercars champion Mark Skaife, Supercars rookie Cameron Hill and 2022 Australia Rally Champion Lewis Bates also attended. Members of the Australian Motorsport Council — which includes representatives from Motorsport Australia, Karting Australia, Motorcycling Australia, Australian National Drag Racing Association and Speedway Australia — also took part in the announcement. Co-founders and federal parliamentarians Luke Gosling OAM and Bert van Manen officially welcomed the formation of the group. “Motorsports are a massive part of Australian life, and we’ve formed this group to promote and grow this exciting sector,” Gosling said. Van Manen added: “Motorsports have played an intrinsic role in defining Australian culture for decades. “As the motor racing landscape is set to change dramatically in the coming decade, I’m thrilled to be joined by my colleagues in supporting the development of the sport, particularly at a grassroots level. “It’s exciting to see the parliament recognise the immense contribution motorsports have made in the lives of so many Australians.” “On behalf of the Australian Motorsport Council the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Motorsport is a special occasion for everyone who competes, officiates or enjoys motorsport,” Motorsport Australia President Andrew Fraser said. “This group will allow us the opportunity to discuss and raise important topics for consideration at the Federal Government level, including the importance of existing and new permanent motorsport facilities around Australia. “Motorsport is such an important part of the Australian economy, with the recent EY study highlighting the sport’s total gross output of $8.6 billion every year. “This year’s Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix will again set a record for the highest attended event in Australia – a shining example of the popularity of the sport that we can build on and use to grow all disciplines and events, particularly at club and state level. “This week also sees the Repco Supercars Championship begin an exciting new chapter in its history and another big crowd will be in Newcastle ready to cheer some of our best drivers going head-to-head. “While those national events are important, every weekend there are thousands of competitors and volunteers taking part in motorsport. From a club hill climb to a state karting event, or perhaps it’s bikes doing laps on one of the many circuits around the country or a bustling drag racing meet or a well-attended Speedway event – the sport is thriving in 2023. “We’re very grateful to all members of Federal Parliament for their ongoing support.”


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