Rally Australia offers $20,000 to Nambucca Shire for road damage

Nambucca Shire councillors will tonight discuss whether to accept a one-off settlement of $20,000 from Rally Australia for the damage done to shire roads last November by the 2016 World Rally Championship.

In his report on the issue, the general manager, Michael Coulter, recommends the council seek to further negotiate the offer of compensation given the invoice submitted to Rally Australia was for $156,242.

He said a video taken of road conditions on the rally routes via a dash-mounted camera immediately before and after the event was proof of the extent of damage.

“Some of the noted damage is loose gravel exported onto sealed sections of road, seal repairs, damaged guideposts, corners cut, deep ruts, loose gravel, and sideways movement of gravel,” Mr Coulter wrote.

“In addition to these obvious defects there is also significant loss of gravel through dust and by wheel spray outside the zone where gravel can be recovered by grading – these less obvious defects have the effect of shortening the life of the unsealed pavement and effects asset management planning and the depreciation expenses for unsealed roads.

“In practice, these roads will require an earlier than expected resheet.”

He said while the damage in isolation was not significant, when aggregated along the length of road costs quickly added up to a large amount.

“Because of the extent of the damage, unlike previous years contractors have been engaged to undertake repairs immediately following the rally.

“That means the council has (already) incurred road damage costs directly applicable to the rally event.”

He said the council did have the option of advising Rally Australia and the State Government that it no longer wanted to host the World Rally event on Nambucca Shire Council roads. 

“While the rally does bring economic benefits to the Coffs Coast as a whole, the Nambucca Local Government Area has been burdened with a higher ratio of cost to benefit than the other LGAs, where forestry roads are more commonly used.”