Rally delivered 'bang for buck'
FORMER Repco Rally Australia chief architect Garry Connolly believes an independent report into the 2009 event will show the NSW Government got ‘bang for their buck'.
Mr Connolly is confident that the report, which is due to be tabled in State Parliament this month, holds no fears for Rally Australia, despite the event being divisive in the Kyogle and Tweed shires.
“My understanding is the economic spend (direct money spent in the community) will come in at $15 to $20 million and the economic impact between $20 and $30 million,” the former chairman of the organising committee said.
“I can't tell you what the NSW Government put in because there is a confidentiality agreement, but I can absolutely assure you they got enormous bang for their buck.
“If every event in Australia that was supported by government could deliver the same multiple of economic impact, or even the same multiple of economic spend, then government would be very happy to put that sort of money into events.
“What I can say is the money put into 2009 was nowhere near the amount of money that was put into Western Australia (that previously hosted the Rally Australia event).”
The report, being prepared by Mike Cahill, managing director of Integrated Marketing Communications, is expected to form the basis of a decision by the NSW Government on whether the Repco Rally will continue to be held on the Northern Rivers.
Speculation a further report could be undertaken by the NSW Auditor-General also holds no fears for Mr Connolly.
“I would welcome the Auditor-General because as someone who was involved in the rally, I can't see what the issue would be,” he said.
Mr Connolly, who has stepped down from his role with Rally Australia to pursue an honorary stewards role with the World Motorsport Council and Formula One,also reiterated the promises kept by rally organisers, which included:
There would be an economic benefit to the area;
There would be extensive international media coverage of the area;
Rally organisers would consult with the community before, during and after the event;
Rally organisers would run a rally that had insignificant impact on the environment;
Rally organisers would respect the rights of the original landowners;
Rally organisers would run a rally that would not have a negative influence on the driving habits of young drivers in the area;
Locals would be encouraged to become involved in the rally as officials.
“We delivered on every one of those promises,” Mr Connolly said.