Crowds at the rally at Kingscliff.
Crowds at the rally at Kingscliff. Craig Sadler

Researching the Repco Rally

IF THERE is one thing backers and opponents of the Repco Rally in Kyogle agree on, it's that the event divided their town.

About 120 people turned up to the Kyogle Memorial Hall on Tuesday to tell researcher Jo Mackellar, who is conducting an economic and social impact evaluation of the rally and the Kyogle Fringe Festival, how the events affected them.

There was some agreement between those who were for the rally and those against it that the event had created divisions in the community.

However, one community member said those divisions had long existed.

“We had a wonderful community until the peace movement moved in,” he said.

His comments earned him a round of applause.

Dyraaba farmer Trevor Wilson said while he was not a fan of motor sports and had initially held some reservations about the event, he now felt it was worthwhile.

The event provided him with an opportunity to make some new friends and he was also able to get a donation from the rally for a local charity, he said.

However, he and others at the forum complained about a lack of communication from the rally about the event.

“(They should) give us all details and comprehensive information with aerial shots and maps,” Kyogle resident Ron Way said.

Wendy Sibley, of Kyogle, said she felt there had been a lack of consultation from governments about the rally.

“Especially in regard to the State legislation,” Mrs Sibley said.

Others wanted it acknowledged the Fringe Festival looked to be a financial flop once the sums were done.

However, the fashion parade, which was part of the festival, had been a huge success, one resident said.

The forum was conducted by the Kyogle Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by Ros Derrett from Southern Cross University.

The evaluation will be made up from feedback from Tuesday's forum, a random residential phone survey and a business survey.

When complete the chamber will publish the results and give copies to Kyogle Council and the State Government.

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