South Australia's Alexandrina Council has been labelled anti-tourism and anti-economic growth following a decision to ban motorsport rallies from its council area, despite the proven economic benefits such events bring.

Organisers of the asp Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally are appalled by the decision which they say is based on false information and a failure to consult or obtain accurate information from anyone involved in the motorsport industry.

“This is a disgrace and goes against everything that the South Australian Government and organisations such as the South Australian Tourism Commission are trying to achieve in terms of profiling the state and boosting visitor numbers,” Event Director and Organiser Michael Clements says.

“More than one million people are expected to see the rally on ONE HD this year – the type of exposure for South Australia that money can’t buy - yet unbelievably Alexandrina Council is turning up its nose at this coverage and making ridiculous claims that the event brings no advantages to the region whatsoever.”

The tarmac rally also requires 150 officials per day to run over the 3 days, and the majority of these people come from outside the Alexandrina Council requiring accommodation, food, drinks and fuel near the stages that they are officiating at.

In addition the event spends much time on its ‘Café Plan’ visiting numerous food outlets and service stations on the rally circuit (more than 800km) delivering posters, flyers and information regarding the event, and in turn promotes these outlets to its competitors and officials.

“This event runs through six council areas and while other councils provide media and marketing people to ensure the greatest benefit for their region, Alexandrina Council does nothing except put hurdles in place. They even charge us just to submit the event for consideration as part of their major events policy. It’s appalling,” Mr Clements says.

Mr Clements says he was shocked by councillor Alan Oliver’s statements in The Victor Harbor Times (‘Rallies face dead end’ Tuesday 21 July, 2011 p 2), indicating that the event was a drain on emergency services, that the rallies did not fix fences that had been cut by the emergency services and stating that the event was leaving farmer’s gates open and allowing livestock onto the road.
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