Speedway Australia addresses competition concerns
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted an undertaking from N.A.S.R. Incorporated, trading as Speedway Australia, which the ACCC said aims to ensure tracks affiliated with Speedway Australia can host racing events that include divisions or classes that are not approved by Speedway Australia, without fear of losing access to the rights and benefits conferred by their Speedway Australia affiliation.
Speedway Australia is the national governing body for speedway racing in Australia. It provides affiliation and inspection services to tracks, speedway licences to drivers and facilitates public liability insurance for affiliated tracks.
The ACCC investigated reports that Speedway Australia’s affiliated speedway track operators were restricted in their choice of speedway racing classes or divisions they could program to race at their tracks, due to an agreement between Speedway Australia and the Sprintcar Control Council of Australia (SCCA).
It was alleged that, since 2018, Speedway Australia restricted the VSC Sprintcar class from competing at Speedway Australia affiliated tracks in Victoria, limiting the number of tracks where the class of vehicles could race. This included removing the VSC Sprintcar class from the list of classes covered under its public liability insurance policy and through the terms of the policy, limiting the classes that could compete at affiliated tracks throughout the racing season.
“The reports we received suggested that Speedway Australia’s agreement with SCCA, and its conduct giving effect to that agreement, limited the options available for tracks to host events with racing divisions and classes of their choosing, which would also reduce the variety of racing that could be offered to spectators,” said ACCC Chair, Rod Sims.
“The ACCC was concerned that these actions may have had the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.”
According to the ACCC, Speedway Australia has now undertaken not to prohibit its affiliated tracks from hosting racing events that include divisions or classes other than those that are approved by Speedway Australia. It has also undertaken not to remove or restrict access to the rights and benefits of being affiliated with Speedway Australia, such as access to public liability insurance arranged by Speedway Australia, if tracks host races with divisions or classes not approved by Speedway Australia.
However, if tracks hold an event that includes races for divisions or classes not approved by Speedway Australia, they will need to secure their own public liability insurance for that event.
“Speedway tracks in Victoria will now have greater choice of which classes and divisions of sprintcar they can host,” said Sims.
“This enforceable undertaking given by Speedway Australia should enable speedway spectators to watch some forms of sprintcar racing at their local track they weren’t previously able to watch, and to benefit from the variety and innovation in racing offered by competing sprint car organisers.”
Speedway Australia has also undertaken to amend the terms of its public liability insurance and inform interested organisations of the amended insurance policy, and to attend training focusing on the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.
The ACCC said Speedway Australia has acknowledged the commission’s concerns and has cooperated with it during the investigation.
A copy of the undertaking is available on the public register at: N.A.S.R. Incorporated, trading as Speedway Australia