Returns of rally a worry
INITIAL figures from a survey into the economic impact of the recent Repco Rally Australia event held in the Tweed indicate it was “bad news for business”, according to the council lobby group Tweed Monitor.
Group spokesperson Jerry Cornford yesterday warned the NSW Government and World Rally Australia should “brace themselves for bad news if preliminary figures from the only independent survey into the financial benefit” of the September world rally championship were indicative of the overall result.
Tweed Monitor, which commissioned the survey, yesterday released early findings showing a number of the shire’s largest entertainment venues showed disappointing returns for the rally week compared to the corresponding period in 2008 and to an average non-holiday week.
On top of that independent businesses who responded to the survey in Kingscliff’s SALT resort precinct, where the majority of the rally drivers and officials were quartered, said business was also down.
Mr Cornford said so far it appeared only a handful of the larger hotels in Murwillumbah and some fast food outlets throughout the region increased sales, while other hotels in smaller centres on the rally route actually lost income.
But he said the full survey results would not be released until the State Government and Events NSW release the outcome of their survey next year.
However he said “the overall early impression is that if the government and World Rally Australia try to justify the rally continuing on the grounds of any financial benefit to the Tweed, they must have studied economics in some kind of parallel universe”.
“Monitor questions whether a modest increase in the sale of alcohol and fast food can be classed as a benefit when the resultant health, social and policing costs are factored in.”
Last week Mr Cornford promised to release some early figures from the survey after announcing it was complete and had canvassed major business venues in towns and villages on the rally route through the Tweed.
He said the survey was designed to compare customer numbers and takings during the week of the rally with the same week in 2008, and with an average non-holiday week.
It also collected a range of other data on the rally’s impact on business. Mr Cornford said the only businesses not included were accommodation venues as their booking figures would be available through Tweed Tourism and Tourism NSW and service stations whose figures varied due to daily price fluctuations.