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ACN151 048 396
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from N.A.S.R. Incorporated, trading as Speedway Australia (Speedway Australia) in relation to concerns arising out of an agreement between Speedway Australia and the Sprintcar Control Council of Australia (SCCA) that may have hindered or prevented the ‘VSC Sprintcars’ class of sprintcar racing from competing at speedway racing tracks affiliated with Speedway Australia. Speedway Australia’s affiliated tracks are estimated to represent the majority of speedway tracks in Victoria.
The ACCC was concerned that the agreement, and steps taken to give effect to it, may have had the purpose, effect, or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in one or more markets related to speedway racing in Victoria in contravention of section 45 of the Competition & Consumer Act 2010.
The undertaking aims to ensure tracks affiliated with Speedway Australia are also able to 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 SCCA is an association which determines the technical and safety specifications for the ‘SCCA Sprintcar’ and ‘SCCA 360 Sprintcar’ classes. The SCCA has a number of state-based member clubs, which administer the SCCA’s sprintcar classes.
The Victorian Speedway Council (VSC) registers, licences and governs the VSC Sprintcar class in Victoria.
In early 2000 Speedway Australia entered into an agreement with the SCCA which recognises the SCCA as the sole governing authority for sprintcar racing in Australia. Since about mid-2018 Speedway Australia has taken steps to give effect to the agreement, including by:
- removing the VSC Sprintcar class, which is not governed or controlled by the SCCA, from the list of classes covered under the Speedway Australia Public Liability Insurance (PLI) policy;
- ceasing to issue licences to VSC Sprintcar drivers who were not affiliated with an SCCA member club;
- refusing to issue affiliated tracks with meeting permits for events that included the VSC Sprintcar class;
- communicating to at least one affiliated track operator that Speedway Australia would not allow the track to access and be covered by Speedway Australia’s PLI policy for race meetings involving the VSC Sprintcars, unless the track agreed to pay an SCCA member club a sum of money to sanction the event; and
- requiring VSA Sprintcar drivers to obtain licensing and registration from Speedway Australia, the SCCA and/or an SCCA member club, as a precondition to being eligible to participate in events at Speedway Australia affiliated tracks in Victoria.
Speedway Australia acknowledges the ACCC’s concerns and has undertaken to:
- not prohibit its affiliated tracks from conducting racing events that include divisions or classes that are not approved by Speedway Australia;
- not remove, restrict or deny, or threaten to remove, restrict or deny, a speedway track operator’s access to rights and benefits of existing or proposed affiliation with Speedway Australia on account of the track operator having conducted, or intending to conduct, racing events that include divisions or classes that are not approved by Speedway Australia;
- amend its Speedway Australia Track Public Liability Insurance Commitment Form to clearly reflect this position;
- write to Speedway Australia affiliated tracks, explaining the steps Speedway Australia has taken to address the ACCC’s concerns and providing tracks with the amended Speedway Australia PLI commitment form;
- write to the SCCA, explaining the steps Speedway Australia has taken to address the ACCC’s concerns; and
- establish and implement a Competition and Consumer Compliance Program and maintain the program for three years.
The undertaking does not require Speedway Australia to issue a meeting permit (which allows a track to access Speedway Australia’s PLI policy) for a racing event that includes races for divisions or classes that are not approved by Speedway Australia.