Reigning WRC world champion Sebastien Ogier in Coffs Harbour's city centre.
Reigning WRC world champion Sebastien Ogier in Coffs Harbour's city centre. Trevor Veale

Editorial - April 23: Keep the rally, but at what price?

IF AN "under the bonnet" check was needed as to what Rally Australia's WRC round means to the Coffs Coast then what about the backfire after that controversial council decision.

Die-hard rally fans are livid, councillors divided and business people concerned.

It's been busy in the news.

Just when Australia had won the WRC's November rally a tyre blew out.

The general public, I feel, are perplexed on how the decision of a few has jeopardised events after 2016.

Since the 2011 Rally Australia, as more locals have watched and met the world's best rally drivers, there's grown a sense of community ownership of the rally.

When council meets next week to again discuss its financial commitment, it's clear the future of WRC on the Coffs Coast is geared to the councillors' vote - that's what Rally Australia has signalled.

Commercial in-confidence has stopped a leak on what the ratepayer-funded sponsorship is exactly worth.

That's designed to stop rival bids from other councils, but I'm sorry, Coffs after this week sits idle at those crossroads.

Rally forums suggest Australia is even lucky to host a WRC round given bids from Japan, Canada and Russia.

So grip the steering wheel tight, Coffs, for when the road is rough ...

Matt Deans,
Editor.



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