Supercars is set to join the major football codes in supporting a ‘Yes' vote for ‘The Voice' referendum later this year.
Ahead of the Indigenous Round in Darwin next month, Speedcafe has learned that the Supercars board of directors has resolved to take a position on changing the constitution to give First Nations people direct representation.
It is likely that following consultations with teams and key stakeholders, Supercars will support of ‘The Voice' while not seeking to directly influence how participants and fans vote.
Informed sources suggest it will be an internal policy statement rather than an AFL-style public declaration.
Supercars will also not speak for Australian racing, leaving it to governing body Motorsport Australia to issue guidance on the issue for the whole industry.
Australians will vote on ‘The Voice' proposal in a referendum to be held between October and December.
Supercars will not advocate an ‘all-in' approach like the major football codes, instead coming out in support of the principle of increased indigenous representation.
Controversially, AFL, NRL and Rugby Australia have urged their teams and fans to vote in favour of changing the constitution to give indigenous Australians a say in federal government policy.
Supercars supports diversity and inclusion but doesn't want to alienate teams or fans on this ‘hot-button' issue.
Speedcafe understands that the Supercars board has discussed and debated its stand on ‘The Voice' vote, torn between an open recommendation and limited support.
It is a touchy time because Supercars will host its now-annual Indigenous Round at the Darwin Triple Crown from June 16-18, celebrating First Nation culture.
All teams will be required to run liveries that reflect an indigenous theme.
Supercars' indigenous event in Darwin mimics similar AFL and NRL rounds that acknowledge the participation of First Nations players.
Supercars has no indigenous drivers, but it is working with Motorsport Australia to promote participation by minorities.
According to insiders, Supercars' board members and executive management are aware of – and sensitive to – individual opinions on a controversial topic.
“They have to respect personal opinions and will formulate a position accordingly,” a source said. “They fully respect teams' and stakeholders' positions.
“They acknowledge that they will not be speaking on behalf of everyone.”
Speedcafe understands that Supercars' stance on ‘The Voice' vote and how far it extends has been held up by a fear of how teams will react.
Supercars management expects some backlash from teams over declaring support for voting ‘Yes' in referendum.
It is accepted that at least one team owner will vocally oppose the move, believing there is a better way to help the disadvantaged.
However, after much debate, Supercars' board of directors is poised to notify the teams of the sport's official position of qualified support in the coming days.
It will be made clear that Supercars supports a greater say for indigenous Australians, along with the broader principles of inclusion, diversity, opportunity and tolerance.
However, Speedcafe understands there is no plan to publicly announce its position on the referendum, keeping it internal.
The date for ‘The Voice' referendum may be announced as soon as Friday (May 26).
It requires a national vote because it involves a change to the Australian constitution.
Giving First Nations people – Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders – a direct, but not binding, voice to federal parliament was a major election commitment of the Albanese Labor government.
Australians will be asked to simply vote yes or no on ‘The Voice' proposition.
‘The Voice' would be a representative body advising the government on policies affecting indigenous people, although with no power to over-rule parliament.
The national vote is the first referendum to change the constitution since 1999, when Australians rejected becoming a republic to retain the British monarch as our (effectively powerless) head of state.