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 with a number of high-profile guests in attendance, including the Minister for Sport Anika Wells and Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM.
Co-founders and federal parliamentarians Luke Gosling OAM and Bert van Manen officially welcomed the formation of the group.
Minister for Sport Anika Wells, Luke Gosling and Bert van Manen (pictured left to right)
“Motorsports are a massive part of Australian life, and we’ve formed this group to promote and grow this exciting sector,” Gosling said.
“Motorsports have played an intrinsic role in defining Australian culture for decades” van Manen said.
“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.”
The event was also attended and supported by five-time Australian Touring Car Champion Mark Skaife, 2022 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Champion Lewis Bates and Supercars driver Cameron Hill from Truck Assist Racing.
Members of the Australian Motorsport Council were also in attendance, which includes representatives from Motorsport Australia, Karting Australia, Motorcycling Australia, Australian National Drag Racing Association and Speedway Australia.
Motorsport Australia President Andrew Fraser said the group would provide significant opportunities for motorsport.
“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,” 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.”
Click here to view images from the Parliamentary Friends of Motorsport event.