Robe District Council expressed support for the Great Victorian Bike Ride event that will be starting in Robe on November 22 at its May council meeting.
The ride will involve up to 5000 people, with 40 per cent of riders from school groups. Riders will travel from Robe through Millicent, Mount Gambier and then along the Great Ocean Road to Torquay.
Event organisers Bicycle Network are seeking sponsorship from Robe District Council of $12,000 along with the provision of facilities for the riders to camp at no cost. The network is a not for profit Australia-wide group that promotes cycling as a way to improve health and well-being.
Robe District Council CEO James Holyman explained to councillors about the benefits of investing $12,000 and the return the community would receive. Some of the elected members suggested that $12,000 would be too much.
"I look at these and I think if I could get a return on investments my understanding from the conversation with the RTA is that there will be 5000 people, they'll be here for three nights, that's equivalent to having 15,000 people here, if they spend $100 a head it's $1.5 million into our community," Mr Holyman said.
"If I could spend 12 and get that return...some people are going to go into town and spend more than 100, we could lower that figure and over that three days we are still going to have over $1 million spent into our community.
"I think we have a role in economic development, if it was my money I think that is a fantastic return for our businesses on the main street."
Robe District Council resolved having considered a report on the Great Victorian Bike Ride to support the event in principle.
Councillors also voted to endorse CEO Mr Holyman to negotiate a funding package for the event, and to be brought back to council for authorisation at the next meeting in June.