Repco Rally Australia spin merchants have outdone themselves in the last few days. Not only have they spun their web of deceit around the NSW state government and the Tweed Shire Council they have now caught themselves in their own web by posting comments from their "independent" ecological consultant that he did not say. They were caught out very publicly on ABC local radio yesterday.
Repco Rally Australia sent a media release out that quoted Dr Steven Phillips (who prepared their ecological report) as saying "There is no reason on ecological grounds that the rally should not proceed". This quote was printed prominently in the pro-rally Tweed Daily News on 18/5/08. It was their front page story, with follow up on Page 2.
The problem was that Dr Phillips did not say it!!! And he said so very publicly when interviewed by Tony Johnston on ABC North Coast radio the next day.
Tony was so taken aback he had to ask Dr Phillips the question a second time .. and he got the same answer: "The words were attributed to me, but I did not say them".
What else have the organisers got wrong???
What you can do:
Write letters to the editor at the Tweed Daily News letters[AT]tweednews.com.au complaining about their lack of checking source material and also attacking the rally organisers for their repeated peddling of misinformation.
See also: "Environment expert clears rally" by Peter Caton in the Tweed Daily News of 18 May 09 in which Dr Phillips is misquoted by REPCO Australia Rally organising chairman Garry Connelly, "Come in spinner" of 21 May 09, "Repco Rally Australia releases reports 'in stages'" of 15 May 09.
Repco Rally Australia organisers claim that the majority of local residents support (or will support) the rally. The latest edition of the Tweed Shire Echo (the only reliable media outlet around here) gives the lie to that bit of spin.
It makes compelling reading!