The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has agreed to put up $25,000 sponsorship and $2500 in-kind support to host and run the Kalgoorlie Desert Race in October.
A report to council recommended sponsorship of the event, which is expected to attract 650 participants and up to 2050 spectators and “provide increased tourism, activity and visitation to Kalgoorlie-Boulder”.
Internationally recognised Australian off-road and enduro motorcycle racer Toby Price has committed to the race before he goes on to the Dakar Rally, and has volunteered to be ambassador of the KDR.
The event will be held over three days starting on October 27, with racing on October 28-29, with a total budget of about $150,000.
Economic modelling shows a direct financial impact of up to $1.12 million to the local economy and a total financial effect of up to $1.73 million, with the potential to support five full-time local jobs.
The $25,000 cash sponsorship would come from a special events account which has a $64,000 unspent allocation.
Mayor John Bowler backed the race, saying the city “could become the Alice Springs of desert racing” referring to the successful two-day dirt race from Alice Springs to the Aputula (Finke) community.
The council voted 8-1 in favour of backing the Desert Race, with only Cr Natalie Coxon querying the sponsorship call. Cr Deborah Botica urged councillors to back the Desert Race, saying the $25,000 sponsorship was affordable and the event “has got a lot more benefits than negatives” for the city.
City chief executive John Walker said: “Mr Mayor we support it and recommend it, you see the numbers, it is clearly a very successful event, there is a similar one held in Alice Springs which has become an annual event and is very strong.”
In backing it, Mr Bowler said: “I’ve never seen a plan with such a high dollar-for-dollar ratio, it is staggering.
“Even if we only get half of that it would be a great use of council funds and, as Cr Williams says, this could be the start of something big, where Kalgoorlie could become almost like the Alice Springs of desert racing in this side of the country.”
The Kalgoorlie Desert Race Pty Ltd is a not-for-profit Motorcycling WA-affiliated motorsport management business.
“The organisation has worked in conjunction with the Western Desert Racers Inc. and associated motorcycle clubs in Kalgoorlie-Boulder to combine the two sports to create a high-profile desert race known as the Kalgoorlie Desert Race,” the council report said.
The KDR is an annual long-course off-road motorsport event run under the auspices of The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and MWA allowing for all classes of CAMS off-road vehicles, rally cars, safari cars, MWA off-road bikes and quad bikes to compete. “The primary goal is to design and develop a long-course desert race in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for all categories of CAMS vehicles and MWA Bikes,” the report added.
“The 2017 KDR has also been endorsed by WA Off Road Advisory Panel (responsible for all off-road racing in WA) as the final round of the 2017 CAMS Carnarvon Motel WA Off-Road Championship.
“It is predicted that the KDR will draw 650 competitors (including support staff) and attract local and non-local spectator numbers of 2050.”
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