A new parliamentary group is rallying to drive greater support for motorsport in parliament.
The Parliamentary Friends of Motorsport initiative was recently launched by Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen, and Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling OAM.
The group has been formed to create bipartisan support for the industry.
It found that the motorsport industry provided $3.1 billion in direct output, and $5.5 billion of indirect output, based on pre-COVID figures.
The study revealed that the industry supported 16,900 direct jobs and a further 29,900 indirect jobs in 2019.
About 18,900 unpaid officials and volunteers were also involved, creating a total workforce of 65,700 people.
In 2019, 9,650 events were held throughout the country, attracting thousands of competitors and fans.
A supporter of motorsport, van Manen is eager to rally his colleagues to support the industry.
“Luke and I have a passion for motorsport that we'd like to share with all of our parliamentary colleagues of all stripes,” van Manen said.
“Our aim is to also raise awareness of the significant contribution that motorsport makes to the Australian economy.
“Motorsport has put many Australian towns on the map.
“Our aim is to ensure that these towns and events are supported and continue to provide motorsports thrills and spills now and for future generations.
“We encourage our Canberra colleagues to get on board the motorsport bandwagon.”
Gosling said the formation of the group provides a platform for the sport in Canberra.
“Motorsport needs a voice in Federal Parliament, so that's what we've created,” Gosling said.
“It's important that we support and encourage this sector, which not only provides great entertainment for so many Australians, but is an economic powerhouse.
“The fans all know the drivers, who are the superstars, but there are thousands of men and women working behind the scenes.
“Without these employees and volunteers Australian motorsport, from the Formula 1 Grand Prix to local club championships would cease to exist.”
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said the initiative has the support of the governing body.
“We know for a fact that there are several motorsport enthusiasts among the federal politicians, right across the political spectrum,” Arocca said.
“We have some exciting plans we are working through with Gosling and van Manen to engage with the parliamentarians.”
Arocca said similar opportunities are also being explored at State level.
“More and more Governments are starting to appreciate and understand the importance of motorsport to the community, particularly in regional areas.
“We are seeing governments support the sport like never before, so a parliamentary friends group will be very helpful in assisting us to continue promoting motorsport.”