As part of the wider motorsport economy, karting has played a part in building an $8.6 billion industry, according to a study conducted by accounting and business services firm Ernst and Young.
A new study has revealed motorsport’s significant contribution to the Australian economy, with a total gross annual output of $8.6 billion.
With the national economy looking to rebuild after a difficult two years, Australian motorsport is primed to lead the charge for the sporting industry.
Ernst and Young prepared the global study on four-wheeled motorsport together with the FIA and Motorsport Australia, Karting Australia and the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA). Locally, it was found that the motorsport industry provides $3.1 billion in direct output, while providing $5.5 billion of indirect output based on pre-COVID figures.
“The Karting industry as a whole has continued to grow and provide great economic benefit across the country and we’re pleased to be able have this confirmed through Ernst & Young study alongside Motorsport Australia and ANDRA,” said Karting Australia Chairman Glen Egan.
“Despite the challenges from COVID over the past couple of years, our licence numbers continue to bounce back strongly and the majority of the members of our karting industry are all reporting record trading years.
“We are seeing some significant growth in the entry level of our sport and we look forward to continuing this into the future.”
The motorsport industry also supported 16,900 direct jobs and a further 29,900 indirect jobs in 2019, the year the study was based on.
Motorsport also enjoyed support from approximately 18,900 unpaid officials and volunteers, creating a total workforce of 65,700.
“As Australia embarks on its economic recovery, we know motorsport will continue to be an economic powerhouse, creator of jobs and boost for local economies, particularly in rural areas, where many motorsport events take place,” said Motorsport Australia President Andrew Fraser.
“This report provides a detailed analysis of motorsport’s strong economic impact and the importance our sport has on so many people.”
The Ernst & Young study looked at a range of factors, further emphasising the importance of the Australian motorsport industry on the country’s overall economy.
Between Motorsport Australia, Karting Australia and ANDRA, the sport has a strong foothold across the country with a reported 188,112 people participating in the sport in 2019.
“While the findings are no surprise to those who are responsible for steering our sport in its various iterations across the country, being able to hold up a report such as this from such a respected entity is exceptionally valuable and we welcome the assessments by Ernst and Young,” said ANDRA Chairman Nathan Peirano.
The financial contribution of each competitor and their input to the overall economy is estimated at approximately $20,000 per year on expenses related to their involvement in the sport (not including vehicle purchases) such as travel, maintenance, food and beverages, as well as race meetings.
In 2019, prior to the COVID shutdowns, 9650 events were held throughout the country via the three Governing bodies with events in both rural and metropolitan regions attracting thousands of competitors each week.
Given the high level of events, a variety of industries outside of the sport such as tourism, hospitality, retail and entertainment venues at local, state and national levels all benefit from motorsport’s presence, providing a significant and positive impact on a large number of communities.
Today’s findings compare favourably to the most recent survey undertaken in 2014. That survey revealed motorsport had a direct output of $2.7 billion dollars to the Australian economy, highlighting the rapid rise of the sport’s growth, with approximately $400 million more now being spent on an annual basis.
With COVID impacting 2020 and 2021, motorsport has a unique opportunity to play a key role in the economic recovery of Australia, with competitors ready and eager to start racing, travelling and spending in the coming 12 months.