A new national event with the potential to inject millions of dollars into the regional economy has received “full throttle” support from Tamworth Regional Council.
The National Thunder Motorcycle Rally – to become a major bookend event on Tamworth’s annual events calendar – received unanimous support at last night’s Council meeting.
Themed around bikes, food and music, the family-friendly rally will take place at Tamworth’s Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) over the Labour Day Long Weekend in October 2020.
Director of Business and Community at Tamworth Regional Council John Sommerlad said Council’s events team aimed to create National Thunder as Australia’s premier all-makes motorcycle rally with elements which would make it stand out from other existing events.
National Thunder will welcome owners of all motorcycle makes, as well as manufacturers, and non-riders who do not want to miss any of the action.
“National Thunder will be the only motorcycle rally that will welcome the involvement of all breeds of motorcycles and their riders at a national event. Tamworth already has a reputation for staging Australia’s largest music festival in January each year and this event provides the opportunity to use that expertise and know-how to generate another event which will deliver significant economic benefit to the region,” Mr Sommerlad said.
A feature of National Thunder will be a drawcard musical act at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC), plus a full program of other musical talent over four days.
While AELEC will be “rally central’” there will be plenty of other activity, including motorcycle runs to destinations across the region.
“This means Nundle, Barraba and Manilla can expect to see their share of motorcycle action.”
Mr Sommerlad said the planning for the National Thunder Motorcycle Rally had been underway since the hugely successful National Harley Davidson Owners’ Rally in Tamworth in 2015.
“Members identified it as one of the best rallies they had attend, thanks to the Tamworth twist which was added to the event and 75% of participants vowed to return should another event be hosted in Tamworth.
“We want to capitalise on Tamworth’s ability to deliver big events and build something substantial that will cement the city’s reputation as an events city,” he said.
“National Thunder will be a great way for our community to welcome new visitors, enjoy some fantastic entertainment and drive a boost to our regional economy,” Mr Sommerlad said.
Council will use $35,000 of unspent funds from the 2018/2019 budgets and an allocation of $82,000 from the 2019/20 budget to facilitate the event.
The estimated economic impact was calculated using National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) formulae shows a potential combined benefit of over $1.2million in the first year, more than $1.9million in the second year and holds the potential to reach over $3.1million in future years.
An advisory group, comprised of enthusiasts, manufactures, retailers, sponsors and volunteers will now be established to assist with the planning and staging of the event.
For regular updates and information about the National Thunder Motorcycle Rally, visit www.destinationtamworth.com.au/nationalthunder or contact Tamworth Regional Council.