Australia’s peak national regulatory bodies across the four key motorsport disciplines – automobile, motorcycle, kart and drag racing have announced they have joined forces to form the Australian Motorsport Council (AMC).
In a first for Australian motorsport, the sole Australian two-wheel and four-wheel sanctioning and organising bodies recognised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations – the Federation Internationale de ‘l Automobile (FIA) and the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) – have committed to work collectively to provide leadership and advocacy to Australian governments and motorsport stakeholders on key motorsport issues that are of mutual concern.
The role of the AMC will be to provide industry wide leadership and advocacy through a national voice for motorsport.
Motorsport Australia, Motorcycling Australia, Karting Australia, and the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) make up the AMC’s foundation membership.
The Chief Executives of the foundation members will make up the board, with Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame Legend and five-time MOTO Grand Prix World Champion Mick Doohan to chair the AMC.
The foundation AMC members – all not-for-profit, membership-based organisations – have a combined history of almost 260 years and currently control, regulate, supervise, promote, licence, permit, insure, develop, and manage the overwhelming majority of motorsport in Australia.
Together the AMC members represent more than 1000 affiliated motorsport clubs, 460 licenced racetracks and more than 335,000 active participants including 60,000 licence holders and 18,000 trained officials across all Australian states and territories.
The board has plans to meet with all state and territory governments in the first months of 2021 to introduce the AMC and to highlight our immediate policy priorities and seek their support.
Objectives of the Australian Motorsport Council
- Identify and address issues that impact the interests of the member bodies;
- Provide a credible united voice and effective advocacy for Australian motorsport, to benefit competitors, officials, venue owners and event organisers;
- Represent the interests of the member bodies and their stakeholders to governments and other concerned bodies;
- Continue to develop and grow motorsport beyond the existing levels of participation;
- Unify the resources and passion of the member bodies to harness the economic, political and social significance of motorsport;
- Ensure that motorsport in Australia is always conducted in accordance with the highest standards of rules, policies and procedures with integrity and in the safest and fairest possible way;
- Advocate for all levels of motorsport to be conducted with the highest levels of governance;
- Improve and promote the safety and innovative developments directly attributable to motorsport.
Doohan said that often people outside of motorsport, including many levels of government have a misunderstanding about how and where motorsports fit into the sporting landscape.
“Outside of the Olympic sports, motorsport has generated more international success for Australia than most other global sports. It has inspired generations of followers to dream the dream of both national and international competition and to conquer the best that Australia and the world has to offer.
“Motorsport delivers long-term social, sporting, community and economic benefits. The mission of the AMC is to build upon the rich heritage of Australia motorsport, both domestically and internationally. In so doing, we must ensure that all Australian motorsport is conducted with the highest standards of safety, integrity and fairness.”
Motorsport Australia CEO, Eugene Arocca, said the AMC is a much-needed initiative.
“When you consider the number of motorsport clubs, racetracks, licence holders and participants in the motorsport disciplines that the member associations represent, we know there is more we can do to lobby and educate governments at different levels about the benefits of motorsport, and that there is clearly a need for united advocacy to government,” said Arocca.
“Our objectives include assisting governments with their understanding of motorsport and most importantly, advocating the necessity for international best practices that our members have access to and draw upon to be the norm and not the exception when it comes to safety, integrity and governance in our sports.
“We will be advocating to government that motorsport sanctioning cannot be compromised or left in the hands of often well-meaning but inexperienced organisations that don’t have the policy framework necessary to establish and enforce the safety and integrity needed in our modern sports. Motorsport is at risk of becoming socially unacceptable if it does not protect and continually seek to improve its safety.”
Motorcycling Australia, CEO Peter Doyle, said the four members of the AMC have shared objectives to ensure that motorsport in Australia is always conducted in accordance with the highest standards to ensure it is conducted with integrity and in the safest and fairest possible way at all times.
“The social value of motorsports and the enormous economic impact that it generates – from grassroot club level activities through to our spectacular international events, warrants a lot more support from all levels of government, particularly in support of our clubs. We will be advocating that governments start to provide dedicated motorsports investment programs that provide grant funding in the same way that the Victorian State Government has done through its recently announced Community Motorsport Program,” said Doyle.
Karting Australia CEO, Kelvin O’Reilly, said the organisations met as an informal collective of sanctioning bodies since early in 2019 and had very close working relationships for many years.
“The main issues confronting all forms of motorsport today are obvious and the decision to form a council to work together and advocate as one was a logical step,” said O’Reilly.
“On the major motorsport matters that are of concern to different governments right now, the sum of our collective voices will carry a far greater weight and attract more attention than the four individual parts. Together we can achieve so much more.”
ANDRA CEO, Brett Stevens, said that when it comes to working with governments and Australia’s major motorsport stakeholders on the key issues of concern, each body can be much more effective by speaking and advocating with a common voice.
“We are all concerned about the operation of motorsport activities where safety is not paramount or where insurance is not sufficient. Our safety practices are our participant’s first line of protection. Our members back that up with quality motorsport specific insurance,” said Stevens.