Kyogle rallies round Repco

Repco Rally traffic and crowds along Hillyards Road, Kyogle.
Repco Rally traffic and crowds along Hillyards Road, Kyogle. Doug Eaton

A SOCIAL impact study into the Repco Rally, held in the Kyogle area last September, has shown businesses would like to see the event return.

The study commissioned by the Kyogle Chamber of Commerce and paid for by the Kyogle Council, was made public in December.

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Of the businesses surveyed 38 per cent said they experienced an average increase of half of the normal weekend sales during the rally.

About 77pc of businesses surveyed said they would like to see the rally held again.

A telephone survey of 351 people found 87pc of respondents supported the rally.

The study’s first recommendation was for organisers to address community division about the event.

It also identified a ‘passionate minority’ against the event which were ‘vilified for expressing their opinions’.

It was also noted that some people against the rally went into individual businesses and ‘threatened that they would not shop in those premises if they supported the rally’.

The study found a small number of residents were affected ‘quite dramatically, particularly in relation to dust, restricted access to property, wildlife disturbance, and noise’.

“These impacts have affected these residents in terms of their personal anxiety and distress,” the study stated.

The study said there should be increased consultation to reduce the community’s sense of powerlessness, which was created by the NSW Government’s special events legislation and meant no development application was required to hold the event.

The study also said issues around communication and planning, business planning and development should also be addressed.

The Homebush Motor Racing Authority will be conducting its own review into the rally.

As part of the review a public meeting will be held in Kyogle on February 3 and in Murwillumbah on February 2. More information about the meetings will be advertised in The Northern Star.

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