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Community says No to Repco Rally Australia

Macca's picture

Concerned Tweed Valley residents will express their opposition on Thursday to the proposal to hold a leg of the World Rally Championships in the Tweed and Kyogle areas.

No Rally Group, set up by locals in February to fight plans to hold the rally, has organized a protest at Knox Park commencing at 2pm which will then proceed to the Council Chambers.

“We will be staging our own rally” President of No Rally Group Michael McNamara said today “one that will not have the negative impacts of the real thing. We will have rally cars and animals and police”

The rally is proposed to run in September 2009 and every second year for up to 20 years.

“Many in the community can’t understand how this proposal ever got serious consideration” Mr McNamara said.

“We have the highest concentration of National Parks in the state, we are one of only three biodiversity hotspots in Australia, we are up there with Uluru and Kakadu in terms of ecological values and we have a strong and growing nature tourism market focused on eco-tourism” he said ”and yet somebody in the Premier’s Department had the bright idea that rally cars hurtling through the bush, including National Parks, at speeds in excess of 160km/h was somehow good for the area.”

Mr McNamara said that community outrage was palpable “We have been circulating a petition against the rally and at Kingscliff recently we had over 350 signatures in 3 hours”

“We have concerns about the Environmental, Economic, and Social impacts of the rally” he said.

“The way in which the proposal was developed, through secret back room deals in Sydney without any community consultation, and imposed on us is appalling” Mr McNamara said.

“The real financial costs of this proposed event have been conveniently ignored in predicting the supposed economic benefits to the area” he said “for instance the cost of the 150 police who will be brought in for the event runs to between $370,000 and $400,000 for salaries only. This does not include the cost of their travel and accommodation” he said.

“Because the event has been declared a Hallmark Event by the state government support from all government departments and agencies is provided free of charge, which means paid for by taxpayers” Mr McNamara said.

“This support is in addition to the several million dollars given to rally organizers by the state government through Events NSW and financial and other support provided by Tweed Shire Council” he continued.

“I am appalled that Nathan Rees, the NSW Premier, should once again impose his love for motor sports on the community generally and make the community pay for the privilege” he said.

Mr McNamara expressed concern about the environmental impact of the rally. “The studies that have been done are far from supportive of the event” he said.

“The environmental consultant contracted by Rally Australia to undertake the ecological assessment has refused to publicly endorse the rally, challenging quotes attributed to him by the organizers” Mr McNamara continued “and some of the strategies proposed in the various reports to address the risks would be laughable if it was not so serious”.

“To tell people affected by excessive noise and dust to go out for the day or to close their windows and doors and switch on their air conditioners is insulting” he said.

“The acoustic (noise) report actually acknowledges that the rally will be unable to meet acceptable noise levels” he continued.

“To only consider the impact on threatened animals and plants of being hit by rally cars, while ignoring the impact of rally associated activities by volunteers, rally staff and spectators is far from satisfactory.” Mr McNamara said “The organizers anticipate 6,000 visitors per day at the service park on the foreshore at Kingscliff, yet this activity was not covered in the ecological report.”

“The so-called ‘Carbon Offset Plan’ by the organizers did not even rate a separate document, being relegated to just one page on their website” he said.

Mr McNamara also expressed disappointment that after Garry Connelly from Repco Rally Australia promised to release the reports concerning the rally many of the downloaded reports were still marked as drafts. “This is just another example of the organizers saying one thing and doing another” he said.

“Rally Australia marched into New South Wales and the Tweed, after they got the boot from Western Australia, like the pied piper into Hamelin, and just like then all the rats are captivated by the music” he said.

Mr McNamara invited all concerned local residents to join the protest to be held in Murwillumbah on Thursday 28 May at 2pm, starting at Knox Park and proceeding to the Council Chambers.

Authorised by Michael McNamara, President, No Rally Group Inc.
TEL: 0438 357 452 EMAIL: no.rally[AT]

What you can do:

1. Attend our protest
2. Send the media release to your local media outlets.
3. Publicise our message through your social networks (on the web and in the "real" world)

Image icon No-Repco-Rally.jpg4.82 KB



I am just wondering when the next rally against the rally may be taking place.

It seems that the powers that be are not hearing us. Perhaps we could arrange to meet up with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss this issue.

(Although I am from Brisbane and not from either Kyogle and Tweed Shires) I agree there should be another rally against the Rally and a good many more until plans to stage this obscenity are abandoned.

However, it takes a good deal of time, effort and money to organise each rally. If you are in a position to lend a hand, as well as to attend the next rally, I am sure that the No Rally group would be more than happy to hear from you. Some contact details can be found in the No Rally Group's "What you can do" page.

You can phone the No Rally Group on 0438 357 452 or the Caldera Environment Centre on (02) 66-721-121.

The No Rally Group's e-mail address is no.rally[AT]

I don't give much for anyone's chances of being able to meet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss this issue.

Firstly, I think the chances of him wanting to help would be slim.

Secondly, as it is somewhat removed from his own direct responsibilities, it would be easy for him to fob you off.

In my opinion, efforts would be better directed towards people who are in a position to decide the outcome one way or the other, or who are likely to be sympathetic and who could use their public profile to win public support for your cause.

In the former category, I would include Peter Garrett, the Federal Minister for the Environment, any member of the NSW Parliament, and local councillors. In the latter category, I would include Independents and Greens in and, possibly, Liberal or National MPs in the NSW and federal Parliaments.

I have written to Mr Rudd.

- 7 days later no reply

NSW Premier Mr Nathan Rees

- 9 days later no reply

Janelle Saffin (member for Page NSW)

- 7 days later no reply

Perhaps Liberal Ministers would be more concerned with NSW residents who voters and who are rate payers being ignored in favour of a car rally?

Certainly none of our elected representatives at all levels are interested in public concerns?

Kevin Rudd has a blog, perhaps this might reach him.

I'm horrified by the blatant law breaking and overriding of proper governmental procedures at all levels. What is this, the dark ages?

Really concerned, not just about the implications for local wildlife, but what about all our livestock in this area? Most horses will be terrified by helicopters close to them, especially with sirens, etc. This is a very populated area - human, domestic and wild creatures all trying to exist. The affect on cattle, smaller animals, pets, etc., is of extreme concern. Many people do not have alternative paddocks.

Consider terrified horses, cattle, dogs, cats, etc., trying to escape the noise and havoc. Injuries and deaths are very likely.

Also, please be so kind as to note I am not an 'unemployed druggo', as has been alleged No Rally protesters must be, but a genuinely concerned resident in the path of this nightmare.

I know you lot think you are justified but I for one think you are a bunch of IDIOTS! And how embarrassing were those who bared their bottoms!! That was so gross!!! Then you have the TOTAL MORONS that deliberately place ROCKS in the path of these cars, ENDANGERING the lives of the drivers!!! and the public watching!!!! What is that!!!! Where are your BRAINS!!! At least your common sense!!! This rally brings INTERNATIONAL recognition to the community, their businesses and the overall economy. One WEEK out of the year!!!! That ONE week brings in more money to your own community than all the other weeks of the YEAR!!! Grow up!!!! Look at the bigger picture!!! I seriously hope you all the WORSE OF LUCK with your campaign!!!!

The response "Undemocratic removal of environmental laws opened Repco Rally to violence in NSW Australia," covers everything in the above post "I know you lot think you are" except the bared bottoms.

I didn't know about the bared bottoms. Sounds very dangerous. Could cause laughter on such a serious occasion. Someone might choke on a hot dog or something. I certainly hope someone got this on camera. Please send any photographs to us via the 'contact' link at the top left corner.

Seriously though, I am embarrassed (and worried) that Australia would host noisy, dirty, dusty, road-tearing car races through national parks - places of awe, peace and wonder. That's a hell of a lot worse than baring a bottom, and it's not even funny. It's pornographic. It's violent. And it's an anachronism. We aren't in the early 20th century when motor cars were a novelty and some people thought their fumes were better than horse manure. We now know differently. Cars are dangerous in every way. They are a total luxury, as is the petroleum on which they run.

Yes, I do own a car. I use it occasionally. I am fortunate to be able to walk to work. Cars have become a necessity for many people because our land-use has been planned around them since the second world war. This is a pity because it cannot last.

Something else I cannot understand: If you wanted to repopularise the motor car, or downplay the excessive pollution of racing cars, why on earth would you hold a race in a World Heritage Natural area where koalas - increasingly endangered - still live?

You would have to have rocks in your head.

I would love to know who thought this one up. Please, someone, let us know on candobetter and we will make him or her into the laughing-stock they should be. There should be a prize for this kind of extreme bad advertising.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page

(Subject was: "Turn the other cheek..." - JS)

I'm sorry but I find it somewhat hypocritical for protesters to come out in force when professional drivers, in highly tuned cars, on closed circuits monitored by medics, media and clean up crews are frowned upon in the Tweed Valley.

I'm a resident of the Tweed Valley and anyone who lives here knows it's a popular place for the outdoor drug/alchohol fueled unauthorized "Doof" parties that "incur unacceptable impacts such as noise disturbance, damage to unsealed roads, vegetation damage, litter, unsanitary sewage disposal and conflict with other visitors (pg70)". We sit tight lipped when The Valley is regularly subject to "amplified music played for up to 24 hours duration" which must really get the wildlife's heart racing. Hordes of teens, adults and shocking as it may seem ferals descend on these same thin unlit dirt roads but do so with little regard for their surroundings. They belch music and dust, excessively speed, park where they see fit, get loaded then drive. I'm sure they're very sympathetic to the wildlife crossing the road late at night and dispose of their refuse/waste carefully.

The owner of this site uses the analogy that Repco is racing cars through a Cathedral every two years, well why not the Cathedral is throwing illegal Raves whenever it wants! So where are the protesters to place rocks on the road? Where are the people blocking their way? Where are the thrown rocks (as confirmed by the Police)? Don't misunderstand me I'm supportive of your right to protest. I agree that the rally plan needs to be subject to democratic process, but infringing on the rights of others and spouting conjecture simply because a corporation is involved and a TV camera is near by polarizes me further from your cause.

If you go back to the first articles written when the rally was just an idea being promoted for the first time, you will see that part of the disapproval for the rally came from peoples' feeling that the rally would reinforce that kind of bad behaviour. I don't think that you would find the average wildlife carer hooning down the road without regard to wildlife crossing.

It is up to the community and ultimately the police to stop hooning. Official encouragement of racing through the valley basically says that the State government does not care about cruelty, wildlife, nature, climate, resource conservation, democracy, or law and order. They only care about money, and they don't care that the money someone is making out of this will cost the residents of Tweed Valley much more than any possible profit.

Street hoons, as bad as they are, don't have to pull to get hoon politicians to destroy democracy and the law in order to let them 'belch music and dust'. It takes a corporation to overturn a law against local inhabitants. That is a VERY BAD THING. And that is pretty much what corporations have done since the industrial production of fossil fuel and the formation of the British East India Company. Corporations, like corporate governments, only care about money. For this reason they will destroy absolutely everything and then themselves, if they are allowed to continue as they have been.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page

Do these doof parties keep you locked into your home for daylight hours?

Do they rip up the roads the ones you pay rates for or don't you care?

How often do they happen and why is music and dancing frowned upon?

Young people cannot dance? but yeah you'd rather them drive at full ball anytime?

Would you really rather speeding cars ripping up the roads at speeds as fast as they can go?

Perhaps teens doing drag racing instead of dancing would suit you more?

Let them drink drive and be feral on the roads, Hell Rees and Repco think that is a fine future ambition for this area?

Our roads are now Rally race tracks safe speeds do not matter!
Its only dirt roads and world class at that!

Well yeah if Repco and the premier think it is OK then what can you expect,get used to it.

I would rather young people dance and listen to music than copy a rally race for fun.

The wildlife do not have to run, every 30 seconds to avoid cars, the free youth leave pretty much at the same time safely, with no helicopter ambulance needed to standby.

I am thinking If the rally is OK then fine for more rave parties here, If the roads are not going to maintained and further degraded by a rally then I need money to keep my car on the road.

Council and Repco will not pay,your rates mean zilch!

Let the youth rave,rather than race and be dust too early. Because our roads are nothing but dirt rough and ready for a Rally race, bugger the safety aspect or the maintenance before a rally - no money in that!

Bare bums shock and awe, If the rally went past my house they would see that and worse. 2 days brings in more money than a whole year? How many bacon and burgers can 1 fish shop make?
Were rally spectators rushing to Crazy Clarks for Armour All? Or a cafe for heaps of coffee? Maybe the op shop had heaps of blankets for seating?

Oh yeah don't forget the fringe fashion parade or the movie marathon mad max movies at the cinema.

How about a 3 course meal at the Bowlo for $90 a head,meals that usually are $30!

Yep,that all dragged in millions, Phht!

But did it match the millions that the rest of NSW paid for it in taxes to host it?

Hell, why not just dole out that for roads,hospitals and a doctor you don't have to wait 7 days to see?

Or restore the XPT rail to Lismore so less affluent rally enthusiasts can travel up to see it?

It was too far and no accommodation was the ordinary rally enthusiasts catch cry.

They even cried at the poor spectators areas, denouncing Garry Connely as only supporting corporate supporters not the diehards of ordinary rally enthusiasts?
The whole event was a sham and a Scam to advertise Repco, and a few others,showing that wildlife and peoples freedom, rights and choice is NOTHING!

Well done Repco,

Great show, great event and great people.

In 3 days I didnt see or hear a protest but saw thousands of happy people enjoying a very special part of Australia.

Cant wait for the next one in two years time.

Can the Rally organisers afford to patrol the entire length of the course in the weeks ahead of the event to ensure the track is stable?

Maybe they can afford the cost.

In any case, it seems to me that cost is no object in comparison to the necessity of stopping effective community protests and ensuring that profits line the pockets of corporations like Repco.

The residents of Tweed Shire and Kyogle Shires need to find ways to hold to account those political leaders who made possible this outrage and see that they are thrown out of office.

That is the only way that a recurrence can be prevented.

when they count the coins in the rally counting room, I hope they remember to differentiate between the money that came in from Speed on Tweed, Fathers Day and the Tyalgum music festival. I hope they remember to take out the millions of dollars they gave in subsidies, the costs of the extra police & their accomodation and transport, the businesses that lost money e.g a service station in Murwillumbah being closed over the rally period, all the businesses relying on that servo, the supermarkets whose carparks were full of rally officials and spectators etc and whose customers were unable to shop there, those who cancelled out of the Tyalgum festival and accomodation because of the rally being on, I hope they count the cost of cutting down trees for spectator stages and the inevitable clean up. I know they can never compensate for the stress to the environment. I hope they made sure offset their carbon emissions (which must have been massive) and include those costs. I hope they compensated the poor clubs that were done out of their fund raising catering activities that speed on tweed usually gives them but that the rally denied. I don't think they can compensate anyone whose loved one has died because the hospitals and health care system is underfunded because we're too busy paying for car races, I hope they clarify that the alleged $100 million profit prediction is over the 20 years of the contract, not this one event. I hope I hope I hope they become human and realise that we all share this planet and this state.



Hmm, sounds like one of those open, polite and considerate pro-rally folk. :-)

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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