World Rally debt paid
RALLY Australia has honoured its commitment to the region, settling all its debts with the Coffs Harbour City Council within hours of itself being paid by the State Government.
Since December last year Council has been pursuing Rally Australia for $277,678.12 in promised payments, but the organisers of last September's local leg of the World Rally Championship were in turn waiting on the O'Farrell Government to pay them.
On Thursday after a series of emails which were documented in the business papers for this week's Council meeting at the request of Cr Mark Graham, Events NSW finally came through with the payment.
Cr Graham said the speedy response almost caught him off-guard.
"I was keen for there to be some transparency about the financial position the council had been put in," Cr Graham said.
"I am very happy that the money was paid but I am amused that it only happened because of the threat of the issue coming to the attention of ratepayers."
Rally Australia chair Ben Rainsford was also understandably delighted.
"It is amazing what happens when these issues suddenly become public," Mr Rainsford said.
"After months of negotiating with the NSW Government, the money finally came through.
"We immediately paid all our outstanding accounting with council and other creditors.
"I'm very happy to say the ledger is now square and Rally Australia has paid all its liabilities with all of its creditors.
"It is a pity that it took so long to get the money from the State Government but I am now just happy that it has come through."
Mr Rainsford said he and his team still considered the Coffs Harbour leg of the World Rally Championship a great event and looked forward to once again working with Events NSW.
He said he was hopeful that the event would return to the Coffs Coast.
Earlier this month The Advocate exclusively revealed that Rally Australia had put forward a business plan to the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) proposing that Coffs Harbour host an annual round of the World Rally Championships from 2013.