Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:50): I rise to support the South Australian Motorsport (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2022. I note that the South Australian Motorsport Board was axed in 2014 by the Weatherill Labor government following a review of state government boards. Quite a few boards got the chop at the time. It was determined that this board, among others, was creating unnecessary work for the Public Service. As indicated by the member for Hartley, the member for Mawson at the time thought, 'If the government can run this, why do we need a board?' He must have had a change of heart.
The national governing body urged the state government to reverse the decision to abolish the SA Motorsport Board. It warned the board's disbandment would also hurt the state's economy and unquestionably damage South Australian motorsport, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year. When it is introduced, the board's role will be to undertake promotion and management of motorsport events in South Australia as well as enter into agreements on behalf of the state. Up to nine members will be appointed by the Governor. The eight Motorsport Board members on the board in 2014 were paid up to $30,000 a year.
Groups of motorsport enthusiasts will support the re-establishment of an SA Motorsport Board, and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) will also support the re-establishment of the board. On the discussion about CAMS, I was involved as a local member in promoting my area for the opportunity to have a dragstrip in the future in South Australia. It was quite a few years ago. Five sites were investigated. Thankfully, and hopefully, by the end of the year we will see Tailem Bend fire up out at The Bend Motorsport Park that the Shahins operate. Drag is recommencing.
Sadly, I am old enough to remember being there in 1979, when we had the jet truck—I am trying to think of its name offhand. We had a truck with a jet motor in it running up the dragstrip, going from the Tailem Bend end towards the Melbourne end. A dragstrip is currently being built. I was proud to be part of the previous Marshall government, which assisted with a $2 million grant. We are told that there will be up to 55 events annually. That will bring a whole new range of motorsport enthusiasts from right around the country.
At the launch of the announcement of the funding, it was noticeable that some people had driven from Melbourne that morning. They had got up really early to travel nearly seven hours to get to Tailem Bend for that announcement. The facilities at Tailem Bend are just fantastic. I hazard a guess that, alongside the dragstrip, the Shahin group, the Peregrine Corporation, would have invested at least $200 million into the local community. It has just fallen out of the seat of Hammond slightly, but it is certainly my local area, being only 20 minutes from my home at Coomandook.
To have those world-standard racetracks there is fantastic, with four configurations where you can have two small tracks running alongside of each other if you want to, or you can run out to the big track of 7.77 kilometres, which I have had the opportunity to do in my V8 five-litre five-speed ute. What a pleasure it was to see my two boys running alongside me in a five-litre VS III Statesman on the Holden demonstration day. It was a fantastic day.
I note what the member for King said about Show and Shine events. My son Mack gets out there at those events to show off his car and interact with people involved in motorsport. It has a lot of people involved.
One thing I know about the track at Tailem Bend is it is at least 85 millimetres thick and it could stomach Formula One. It would take a bit more investment, putting in a few more barriers and a few other things. I think at a push that it could be set up in under a month. It would obviously need funding. I think the annual licence fee just to run Formula One is about $30 million and it is probably north of that now.
I can remember the open wheelers during the late eighties and nineties; how good were they? The Supercars are great, but I do not think anything matches watching Formula One open-wheel events. They are expensive to run. It is interesting to note that we have that capability at Tailem Bend to operate that.
It is not only at Tailem Bend that we have those facilities. The Peregrine group purchased the racetrack at Mallala, and that is going through various upgrades as well. It is in the member for Frome's seat. There is quite a bit of investment going in by private investors, which would not have happened—governments do not do this kind of thing and nor should they. It is great to see investment by people who have their own interest in motorsport—that is well known—and who run their own cars. It is huge for the state that this investment is made.
With the re-establishment of the Motorsport Board, I am sure they will be involved in features across the state, whether that be opening up the Adelaide 500 again—and we know they are on a tight time line before December—or events at Tailem Bend where there is something on nearly every week. My young son Angus is only 18, but he has had the opportunity to go around the track and go up the straight in a BMW M3 doing 200 km/h self-drive—
An honourable member interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: No, it is not mine. Thankfully, he did not bin it because essentially if you bin it, you win it. A $400,000 Porsche got turned into a cube one day. The bloke got out of it, but the $400,000 Porsche turned into $5,000 worth of scrap. That is the risk you take if you enjoy a sport.
It is interesting to note the friends that young Angus has who have these cars. I would be guessing, and I might get the number wrong, but there are a couple of BMWs and one of the blokes did bin it and rolled one the other day, but I think they will be able to straighten it up and get it going. I could go on, but with those few words I support the bill.