Senator Ricky Muir talks to Practical Motoring
Senator Ricky Muir is the only parliamentarian in Australia that’s been elected as a motoring enthusiast, so we thought we’d catch up after his first year in office.
As you can see from the interview Senator Muir is the real deal motoring enthusiast. He’s unusual because he took the step of speaking out about issues he cares about, which inadvertently got him the AMEP nod, then elected. So whether or not you agree with his opinions it’s pretty clear he’s in this because he wants to make a difference.
It’s also notable that he’s into so many different aspects of car and outdoors culture from 4WD to autocross to fishing, shooting to camping and dirtbikes whereas most people tend to specialise a bit more.
There is a perception that anyone into motorsports, 4WDs or camping is some sort of far-right redneck. Ricky Muir is proof that’s not true, and he’s no puppet of the Coalition or anyone else. The expert political commentators over at Crikey have a good rundown of his career to date, and even describe him as a “secret lefty revhead” (paywall). It is true Muir supported same-sex marriage, but to claim that “support for same-sex marriage is something rather off-road for Motoring Enthusiasts — and quite possibly contrary to the views of many.” shows that they don’t understand the average motorsports enthusiast is an average Australian. The way Muir made his statement was also notable – sat back a bit, listened, considered, then delivered a long but eloquent reasoning behind his call which was well received. He’s getting a reputation for that style of operation which makes a nice change from point-scoring soundbites.
The senator is also a straight shooter in another way. Prior to the interview there were no requests for questions, on the day there were no minders or no-go areas, no request to see the piece before we published it – and we decided to go for a transcript so you can hear his own words. The interview was really just an informal chat very similar to the hundreds that go on in motorsport paddocks every weekend. Except this guy has a bit more power than the average, so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes over the next five years.
- AAAA – Australia Aftermarket Accessory Association. Trade association.
- AMEP – Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and here on Facebook
- Automotive Transformation Scheme – federal government assistance programme for the automotive sector
- NCOP – National Code of Practice for motor vehicle modifications. A much-needed attempt to standardise the vehicle modification laws across Australia.
- Minister Jamie Briggs Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
- Minister Luke Donnellan – Minister for Roads & Road Safety, Victoria
- Parliamentary Friendship Groups
- SEMA –Specialty Equipment Market Association. The world’s premier show for automotive aftermarket industry, world-renowned. Also on Facebook.
- Towards Zero, the Victorian road safety initiative