Rockleigh-Monarto stage of 2018 Adelaide Hills Rally to go ahead despite residents' opposition | MAP

Rockleigh will host a stage of this year's Adelaide Hills Rally despite fierce opposition from residents.

On Monday night, the Murray Bridge council approved the closure of a series of back roads in Rockleigh and Monarto for six hours on September 22 to allow the event to be held.

Twenty-nine residents living along the course had petitioned against the rally, and one, Penny Heighes, appealed to councillors in person.

She said she and her neighbours had been scarred by the impact of rallies held in the area in the past.

"This is our land, our stock, and they're at risk," she said.

"Kangaroos come through and break fences, we have stock on the road, our dogs ... (and) we don't put our fences up because we like having rally cars come through.

"I know it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen."

"Please listen to the community and please vote no."

She also worried about the impact the event would have on irreplaceable local vegetation and the animals at two local refuges.

She said the economic benefits of the three rallies held in the area during the past 10 years had never been proven.

Ultimate Motor Sports Events' Andrew Admiraal and Michael Clements, who also spoke at the council meeting, said they had been organising motor sport events for more than 15 years and understood that residents needed to be cared for above anyone else.

Event marshals would aim to accomodate any requests to get in and out of the area, within reason, Mr Admiraal said.

In the event of an emergency, the paramedics and firefighters on standby at the event would give residents faster and better service than ever.

The organisers will also be liable for any damaged caused to the roads or other infrastructure.

The course will be inspected beforehand and afterwards, and any scheduled maintenance for 2018-19 delayed until after the race.

Councillors' vote on the matter was tied 3-3, and the rally approved on the casting vote of Mayor Brenton Lewis.

In favour were Councillors Airlie Keen, Tod Cusack and Fred Toogood.

"This event will bring hundreds of people who could assist (local businesses)," Cr Keen said.

"I absolutely hear the concerns of residents, but it's a six-hour event."

Cr Tyson Matthews said Ultimate Motorsport Events did not deserve to be tarred with the same brush as previous event organisers, but voted against allowing the rally anyway.

"I can't see how the economic benefit outweighs the impost," he said.

Clem Schubert and Theo Weinmann were also opposed; three other councillors were absent.

The event will serve as the final round of the South Australian Rally Championship, round five of the national championship and a qualifying event for a World Rally Championship race at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

It will also include an introductory session for drivers new to rallying and – in a first for an unsealed course in Australia –  a tour session for anyone wanting to experience it as a passenger.

Ultimate Motor Sport Events projected the event would generate almost 2500 bed-nights and $160,000 in spending, including in Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend; and would provide training opportunities for up to 500 volunteers.

Local non-profit organisations will also be given the opportunity to fundraise at staging points.

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