Police are being provided free of charge (as is support from all other
government departments because it has been declared a "Hallmark
Event"). The Police Local Area Commander advised in May that 150
police working a mix of 10 and 12 hour shifts would be brought into
the area for the 3 days the event is planned to run.
The provision of police at no-cost to the organisers was confirmed by
Superintendant Micheal Kenny, Tweed-Byron LAC Commander on 14 May 2009
in a meeting with two members of the No Rally Group.
If a member of the public or any other organisation wanted to hire a
police officer for an event it would cost a bit ovber $85 per hour per
That adds up to about $400 000 in policing costs alone - and that does
not include their transport, accommodation or meals! Add in the
costs associated with Ambulances, other health services, RTA, NPWS,
fire brigades, Rural Fire Service, SES and so the list goes on.
have dangled the twin carrots of economic benefits and local jobs in
front of the businesses in the area. The jobs involved amount to
5 days of casual work every two years, predominantly in the form of
overtime for current employees - hardly real jobs! No permanent
full-time jobs for the area have been identified as flowing directly
from the rally.
They have also
presented a rosy economic picture of millions of dollars flowing into
the Tweed and Kyogle areas from accommodation and food purchases.
Strange that they don't make mention of research paid for but that
industry that showed that at similar events in 2007 more than 1/3 of
attendees did not pay for accommodation. Given the proximity of
the race to the main target market (young Gold Coast males) it
is likely they will bring their own food and go home at night.
Why would Gold Coast residents pay for accommodation in the Tweed or
Kyogle when they live at most 60 minutes from the most remote rally
It is also strange
that they don't acknowledge the real costs involved - but then in the
finest traditions of rural NSW politics they are privatising and
socialising the costs. If they are not directly paying the costs
then 'those costs don't count' seems to be the logic.
have not taken into account the impact of either the global economic
crises of the Swine Flu pandemic on attendances, and therefore income.
The organisers of
the rally leg in Finland (which immediately precedes the Australian
leg) have revised their anticipated attendance figures and imposed a
40% cut to their budget as a result of these factors.
Why are those
factors not relevant here in Australia? Are the organisers holding
this in reserve as an excuse after the rally fails to attract the
predicted economic benefits?
ABOUT THE REPCO
SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT REPORT
The report does not consider the
real costs of the event including direct financial support and in-kind
support from both state and local government (taxpayer/ratepayer
money). This support is estimated at approximately $7 million.
The report does not consider the
potential impact on existing (growing) tourist market based on eco
tourism and nature tourism.
No evidence is provided for the
estimates of full time and casual jobs it claims will be created other
than a blanket claim of using "industry multipliers" Other
reports speak about the unique nature of this event and the fact that
standard predictive measures are not applicable. Similar
qualifying statements are absent from this report.
The report gives no references to
support its calculations of economic impacts.
The report fails to consider
existing research casting doubts on the economic benefits of such
events. The organisers commissioned an "Economic Impact
Assessment" rather than a cost-benefit analysis. There is a
considerable body of academic papers criticising this approach as
inadequate in considering the real cost of such events.