rra09_media_01The New South Wales Government today announced its support for the FIA World Rally Championship event to be held at Kyogle and Murwillumbah in September, every two years until 2017.

Minister for State Development Ian Macdonald said today that NSW is set to receive a $100 million boost to its economy by hosting the FIA World Rally Championships.

The Australian round of the FIA World Rally Championships, will be staged in the Northern Rivers region every second year from September 2009 to 2017.

“This is a great coup for NSW – the FIA World Rally Championships is the highest profile motorsports event, after Formula One,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This major event will drive tourism, create jobs and deliver significant economic benefits to the Northern Rivers region.

“Event organisers estimate that the event will create the equivalent of around 40 new permanent positions, or between 1500-2000 part-time and casual jobs during the event week.

“It is expected to generate up to 69,000 visitor nights in the Tweed-Kyogle region.

“Around 35 competition stages will take place in the Kyogle and Murwillumbah areas and the first event starts from 3-6 September.

“The Government is developing appropriate special legislation  to ensure the event can happen in September.

“The legislation will permit the Government to impose environmental protection measures to manage any temporary impacts on affected local areas.”

Mr Macdonald said that the event will also provide a unique opportunity to showcase the spectacular Northern Rivers area and generate increased international interest in the region.

“Organisers have been engaged in major consultation with local councils, businesses, environmental groups, community representatives and residents in the Northern Rivers region,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Representatives from the Murwillumbah and District Chamber of Commerce and Tweed Tourism are supportive of the event – they realise the potential it has to deliver massive economic benefits and showcase the region.

“Last year more than 816 million people in 180 countries watched the World Rally, with around 51 million viewers per round.”

The five-event deal was secured by Events NSW with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport in September 2008.

The 12-round Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile World Rally Championship includes events throughout Europe, South America and Asia, with motor manufacturer representation from Ford and at outright level, and Mitsubishi and Subaru in the support categories.

As well as the competition stages, all the major teams will take part in a major media event in Sydney to kick-off the rally week of activities.

Tweed council’s response:

Mayor of Tweed Shire Cr Joan van Lieshout today responded to the State Government’s announcement it is planning legislation to approve the Repco World Rally.

“The State Government has made the decision to take control of this international event. As Council, there is a need to consult closely with the Government to be quite clear about the ongoing role of Tweed Shire Council,” Cr van Lieshout said.

“In that regard I have made arrangements to meet with the NSW Premier’s Department and Events NSW in Sydney on Monday to further clarify Tweed Shire Council’s role in this event.

“We are going to ensure full information comes down the line from State to the Tweed so we have full transparency.

“I want to take the opportunity to assure the community that I will continue to remain in close contact with all stakeholders and will inform you accordingly.

“While the Government has moved to give the event certainty in order to deliver its objectives, it is important that Tweed is not overlooked in this process.

“Council recognises that the community have expressed a number of environmental and social concerns.

“The challenge now is to engage in a relationship with the State Government in order to ensure we minimise the identified impacts while at the same time maximising the broader economic benefits to deliver a very positive outcome for the Tweed community that has been provided an opportunity to host a world event.”