Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser with Surinder Thatti and Ben Rainsford during Mr Fraser's visit to the New Zealand Rally.
Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser with Surinder Thatti and Ben Rainsford during Mr Fraser's visit to the New Zealand Rally.

Green light close for rally

THE odds are shortening - and rapidly - of Coffs Harbour once again hosting one of motor sport's most exciting high-octane battles.

While no official announcement has been made, two key identities have signalled the World Rally Championship is set to return next year, and possibly in 2014 and 2015 as well.

Self-confessed long-time rally fan, the Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser, has just returned from a private trip across the ditch buoyed by discussions with high-level officials during the New Zealand Rally.

"While the weather was cold and wet it reinforced my resolve to do everything I can to have the rally return to Coffs Harbour in 2013 and again in future years," Mr Fraser said.

"I will be having discussions with the NSW Government in relation to ongoing funding and I would hope that the Coffs Harbour community backs the rally as it has in the past. The event held in Coffs Harbour in September last year was a huge success and I will be doing all I can to encourage the organisers to ensure the next round, and future events, are run in Coffs Harbour."

Mr Fraser said that while he was in New Zealand he had very fruitful discussions with a number of people including Surinder Thatti, vice-president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, and the chairman of Rally Australia, Ben Rainsford.

"All told me they were greatly impressed with the facilities offered by Coffs Harbour."

Mr Rainsford has arrived in Coffs Harbour late on Friday after high-level talks with senior State Government officials within the O'Farrell Government.

"I will be spending this weekend meeting key stakeholders and developing teams in Coffs Harbour," Mr Rainsford said.

"Our plans for bringing the rally back next year are well ahead of schedule and I am growing in confidence of an announcement soon."



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