House debates

Monday, 6 March 2023

Constituency Statements

Wide Bay Electorate: Motorsport

10:53 am

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Wide Bay has a proud reputation when it comes to motorsport, including the breathtaking action of the Australian Rally Championship which sees man and machine—and woman and machine—combining the most incredible reflexes and skill with the latest technology, with rally cars hurtling through country stages in the Imbil forest at speeds completely foreign to mere mortals like us. Speedways at Mothar Mountain and Maryborough also draws big crowds, with our nation's best drivers regularly competing in Wide Bay.

When I did some local research into one of my favourite categories of motorsport, motorcycling, I came into contact with Jeff from Maryborough, who educated me on one of our oldest motorsport clubs in the region, the Maryborough Motorcyclist Club. Like me, Jeff is hooked on motorbikes, and he says that, in some ways, being a motorbike rider is like going to prison—once you're behind the bars, you're there for life.

Jeff told me the Maryborough Motorcyclist Club was first established in 1915. In 1928 the club established a facility at Newtown Park, where the present cricket grounds at Ariadne Street are located. Newtown Park racecourse was a third of a mile long, and races were held over three laps. During that era, the Maryborough Motorcyclist Club held races on the beach at Scarness, as well as on a track on the present site of the Maryborough Aerodrome and Island Plantation boundaries.

The club started hill climbs at Copenhagen Bend in 1935, and at that location work began on a short circuit track called McAuliffe Park, which was used by the club for about 20 years before the property was sold. The search for a new site began, ultimately ending in 1967 where the current Action Park track exists at Maryborough West. The first motorcycle short circuit race meeting was held at Action Park in 1969, and in the 1970s the club ran a number of different competitions, such as short circuit racing, observed trials in the Tiaro area, and scrambles at Action Park and at Tinana on the grounds of the Maryborough Speedway. The Maryborough Motorcyclist Club held the first of many Australian titles in 1983.

In 2016 I was really pleased to help out the club with a $11,600 grant towards a new multipurpose shed. I thank Jeff for the history lesson. I say to Jeff and all the members of the Maryborough Motorcyclist Club, 'Stay upright and watch out for tin tops.'