Two weeks after Coffs Harbour City Council had voted to stop its support to Rally Australia the council has reserved its decision and will help fund the event for the next two years.
Earlier this month the local council withdrew its backing behind the area hosting Rally Australia for 2016 and 2017. Rally Australia organisers asked the council to reconsider, taking into consideration the estimated $13.8m economic boost the event brings through promotion and employment, and the council has now revised its decision.
Funding by the Coffs Harbour City Council was approved last Thursday (28th April) for the 2016 and 2017 events after a vote and Rally Australia chairman Ben Rainsford says the event organisers are keen to put the small blip behind them quickly to press ahead with preparations.
“There are now just over 200 days until Kennards Hire Rally Australia on 17-20 November and with this brief hiatus behind us we're clear to put the throttle down on planning and organisation for what will be our best event yet,” Rainsford said. “We'll do so with the strongest possible demonstration of support from the Coffs Coast community, which spoke out against the original decision and turned out in big number last night to see its will acknowledged.
“A Coffs Coast 2016 rally would have gone ahead whatever the vote, as we have other key supporters including the New South Wales government and commercial sponsors. But almost nothing is more important than this community support and its emergence like never before is the silver lining in this matter. We've actually gained from it.”
Rainsford has also confirmed the re-established connections with the council will help the ongoing negotiations with the World Rally Championship authorities regarding hosting the 2018-2020 events.
Rally Australia is set to host the final round of the 2016 World Rally Championship season on the 18-20 November and is already penciled in the 2017 calendar but dates are yet to be confirmed.