THE NORTHERN RIVERS CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE WORLD RALLY

THE NORTHERN RIVERS CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE WORLD RALLY

23 September 2010

Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George is calling on organisers of the FIA World Rally Championship round (Rally Australia), Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS), Events NSW and the Minister for Major Events to ensure the 2011 World Rally is retained in the Northern Rivers.

Mr George said organisers should listen to the overwhelming majority of the community who support the event and not let a small minority of anti-rally protestors prevent enormous economic benefit being delivered to the region.

"I understand a decision to relocate the rally is imminent as a result of threats made by small groups of people to the FIA and car manufacturers to sabotage the event if it returns to our region," Mr George said.

"Prior to the rally the main concerns were about the environment and making sure the pristine environment was left in good condition.

"Now, those issues have been addressed the focus has shifted to economic concerns."

According to an independent report tabled in Parliament, the 2009 Repco Rally generated up to $16.9 million in new economic activity in the Northern Rivers region.

Mr George said the report also found other positive economic evidence supporting the event including: -

The report showed the event was well on track to delivering up to $100 million in direct economic benefit to the Northern Rivers region over its life-span continuing through to 2017.

"It's clear the World Rally delivered a significant boost to regional tourism. Not to mention the positive economic benefits arising from the profile delivered through local and international media coverage," Mr George said.

The rally, as part of the World Rally Championship, attracted a global television audience of more than 50 million viewers, according to industry reports.

Independent research from TNS Sport showed that news broadcasts of the event showcased the Northern Rivers region to a global audience of more than 53 million viewers on 264 channels, with 862 individual broadcasts in 107 countries.

Mr George said the Tweed Shire Council and Kyogle Shire Council had invested heavily in this rally on the basis it would be here for 10 years. "It will not be tolerated if the government, CAMs or Events NSW walk away from their commitment to this area.

"The community will not accept them turning their backs on the Northern Rivers."

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577