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Kyogle pensioner's finances, life put at risk by NSW government

In a letter to NSW Premier Nathan Rees, a Pensioner describes how the imposition of a car rally on the people of Kyogle by state Government which does nothing for the area will add to the almost crippling financial burden caused by a combination of removal of rail services and neglect of local roads, and may well endanger his life. We will post any reply from Premier Nathan Rees. This letter was originally posted as a comment to the article "State Government intervenes on behalf of Repco Rally Australia" of 31 May 09.

Mr Premier,

Your Government has seen fit to supercede council approval of the Repco car rally in my area - Kyogle. We pay rates here and your Govt does nothing for this area bar taking away our train and never replacing it, making us travel by car to Lismore then bus to Casino.

We have to put up with no council services and a road that is not maintained bar every 2 years causing me to spend $3000 on car repairs just to able to access my home, I have recently had to take a personal loan of $7000 to buy a car more suitable for the road.On a pension this leaves me near destitute.

Now a 2 day car rally event will see the road graded just for this event then destroyed by the same event and we will be left for 3 days unable to access work, medical and the freedom to leave our homes.

What benefits do we get? Nothing!

No discount or waiver on rates and no improvement for roads.

Even less now that the 2 yearly work done will be erased by the rally!

I am disabled and suffering from medical problems that may require immediate hospital treatment, I will not be able to get treatment! So could die.

This is not acceptable, If the car rally goes ahead I will have no choice but to make a protest that will make national headlines, showing how democracy has no meaning and your Govt and local councils have no care for NSW residents health and rights!

Those that vote and pay rates!



Today Sunday June 21 a Repco rally rep visited at 12 pm.

Still no reply from the premier Mr Rees.

They assured me that the rally will only close the road for 4 or so hours- 1 day 5th Sep 2009.

Special emergency medical evacuation support will be arranged if need be (will be in touch to finalize arrangements).

When asked about the road they said it will be left in the condition found,So that depends on when and how well the council grade the road before hand. I have heard the road will be graded unprecendently twice this year, I assume prior to the rally and after. This is 14 months earlier than usual. After the rally we will have to wait ...
Meaning it will then not be graded again until just before the rally returns in its second year. Mid 2011
I was offered "free tickets" to watch the race and a special spectator area will be set up for residents at the end of our road where it is blocked.

No other concessions re: the inconvenience of the road closure/damage, race noise and environmental effects as well as the stress of worry that my medical condition will be neglected during the race etc.

Many neighbours keen for the race are under assurances they will receive free alcohol and food while watching the race.

There is no such offer, only a certain number of "free tickets" for yourself and some friends. Rally Australia and the NSW Government=t and Kyogle council will make many many $1000 in profits from race advertising/income.

Yet I am expected to pay my rates or lose my home and still pay for car repairs by using this world class rally road along with its extra race usage.

Why is it Mr Rees that it takes Repco rally reps who can offer me access to immediate medical services?

Yet it takes 7 days just to see a doctor privately in Kyogle?

2-3 hours to see a Dr in emergency at Kyogle hospital, even when you have chest pains?

I also cannot be operated on for 12 months!

Unless I am in agony 3 times in one month!

Why are Blood tests also not kept unless I remain in Hospital (no beds available to provide this)

Will Rally drivers be subjected to these third world medical services in NSW?
Or will they get special treatement and be flown by helicopter to better services In QLD?

Where will all these cashed up race spectators seek accomadation?

That is suposed to benefit this town and make millions for NSW tourism and (Kyogle) there are only 2 motels with 10 rooms?
Will I have to offer paid camping on my property to enable me to pay rates and effect repairs on my car after our road is forgotten when the rally destroys the road?
Maybe even help pay for an operation in a private hospital?

Many months prior to the rally being put through Parliament. not one person in Government, local or state or Federal has by either in writing or by direct personal consult has asked residents for concerns/approval about the Repco rally being in our area.

Repco has had a couple of public meetings not very well advertised.(Suspiciously, a neighbour who works for the RTA had knowledge and keenenss of the race well in advance of any other neighbours.)

I find it very affronting that only now 10 days after the Government approval of the rally race, that a Repco race rep appears at my home.
Not asking about concerns and for approval, but telling me this is what will happen and when!

But not a single council letter or local representative has had the gumption or courtesy to seek and address residents concerns!

Certainly not from state or federal levels either.

Where is the environment minister?

Clearly we now know that the environment and residents are not represented by elected members in any area of government anymore, rather rep's from large sporting companies and multinationals have the power over our lives and communities.

I am dismayed that neighbours who seem to value their country home and lifestyle are so easily ready to be bribed by a few free tickets and cans of beer or Chardonnays!

Perhaps, not surprisingly, these are the same ones that don't care about the environment, grading riperian creek zones fencing across creeks and using the road at high speeds.

They also haven't the insight to see their rights have been usurped, and their roads will be wrecked even more than before!

Buy no more spare parts from repco stores
Boycott these un-Australian french rev heads!
Those that pay rates to a local NSW AUSTRALIAN council and Govt land taxes are being shafted by foriegn companies and our elected members, so that we have no rights!
Yet they will let drivers drive at 200kphr and not have to pay for repairs to the road?
In doing so they will scam profits from television coverage and advertising.
Yet as compensation all we are offered is $22 AUD"free ticket"- yet we pay $ 600+per year to maintain this road?
To be priveleaged to drive at 40 ks or risk damage to your car,and risk running off the road due to the potholes and badly done grading.
There will be no jobs created, Repco can only afford voluntees as officials not paid workers?
No rev heads are going to spend up big at "farmers markets"buying organic veges.
they will not want to stay here when a beach resort SALT comglomerate motel awaits that night, or night clubs to drown their stink of fossil fuels!
No, It is not "bong" smoking "nimbys" seeing and protesting this, it is common citizens not blinded and duped by lies or handing over their rate payements for a 4 hour thrill ride to recoup their mispent youth.
We live here,we respect our environment
and do not throw rubish and oil in our creeks or dump our litter along the roads we have to pay for that in council dumps above our rates costs!

The above comment: 'Buy No More Repco spares In Australia' has merit but won't stop the Repco Rally going ahead in December. In order to effectively stop this rally, the campaign ought to focus on multiple initiatives, including publicising in the mass media the event's history of financial failure at Dwellingup, south of Perth.

1. Research the failings of the previous rally being expelled from Dwellingup. This will clearly reveal core weaknesses of the entire rally business case. The event in Western Australia was previously called Rally Australia in 2006 and the key sponsor was Telstra Rally Australia

Check the following websites on the event's financial failures:$FILE/A37%20S1%2020050406%20p394b-395a.pdf

2. Contact former Western Australia Tourism Minister Mr Mark McGowan, who back in 2005 canned the Telstra Rally as it was called then in WA and proclaimed: "The State Government will seek to end its contract with the motorsport event Rally Australia in 2006 in light of concerns over the economic viability of the event."

Further to the history of the failure of this event, I also direct you to the following relevant weblink:

...."Mr M. McGOWAN: In 2003 and 2004 Rally Australia cost taxpayers $5.9 million. It was the biggest event on the EventsCorp calendar in terms of cost, and that cost was predicted to grow because insurance costs were increasing and some competitors were dropping out.

"The fees payable to the various motor sport bodies involved were also increasing. In addition, we received advice - it has been publicly noted - that the Rally Australia sponsors would not continue to sponsor that event.

Mr R.F. Johnson: Who - Telstra?

Mr M. McGOWAN: Yes, Telstra.
"Costs were rising and the sponsors were pulling out. In addition, crowd attendances were declining, and the international television coverage and core markets relevant to Western Australia were very poor. That meant that Rally Australia was not securing the benefit for the sponsors, the overseas television coverage, and interstate and international visitors to Western Australia. In direct spend, a $6 million event returned - as members have noted - $9.3 million to the state. As I have said ad nauseam, a return of $1.60 on every dollar spent is the worst return by a country mile for an event sponsored by a government. I will go through some of the other events so that members understand the situation."

All the best.

Against the noise clang of hollow bells apposed to this rally I'd like to say that the Repco Rally will have no impact other than positive on my area. It will highlight the hypocrisy of the Green movement as they cut down trees and dig up roads endangering the lives of all of us as well as the habitat of those Koalas they are so keen to protect. Does anyone seriously thing that there will be a mass extinguish as a result of this rally.... come-on all this rally has done is galvanized a few people behind a cause so they don't have to roll up their sleeves and do the real hard work of conservation, namely, stop native vegetation clearing and planting more native species. Now if you were at all smart you might use the rally to highlight these real threats.

Ernysp76 in his comment above claims that the Repco Rally through Kyogle and Tweed shires will cause "no impact" to the environment. Otherwise, I can't see that the rest of the comment offers much more reading value. It is a bit rich for a car rally enthusiast to accuse others of "noise clang".

But let's test that unsupported claim:

Repco Rally Australia on its website publishes its Environment Policy Statement (still in draft form) and states "RRA recognise that all forms of human activity impact on the environment in some form." So this admittance by RRA confirms the 'no impact' claim to be false. So ENRysp76, have a read of the RRA website, then get back to us with some real facts, rather hollow puff!

On the subject of Repco Rally Australia's environmental credentials and intent, it too seems full of hollow enviro puff. The following promises in RRA's Environment Policy Statement are dated November 2008 and how far away is this rally event?

RRA enviro claim 1: "The adoption of a robust environmental management framework within the event management structure" - where? when? what are the details?

RRA enviro claim 2: (Clause 3 'Considering the effect on the environment' "RRA intends to integrate environmental considerations into the day to day operations of the event by:
• Establishing environmental management procedures that ensure environmental considerations are part of RRA’s decision making process e.g. by appointing a senior event manager with responsibility for environmental performance to oversee the establishment of an event Environmental Management Framework and an Environmental Management Group for the event.

QUESTIONS: Has a senior event manager been appointed yet having responsibility for environmental performance and if so what are its responsibilities and scope?

Has an event Environmental Management Framework yet been established and, if so, what are the aims and content of this framework?
Has an event operational Environmental Management Group been established and if so what are its responsibilities and scope?

• Identifying, assessing and managing environmental risks as part of the overall risk management process for the event When is this going to be done? Is it to be carried out by an independent and accredited environmental scientist? Where is the report?

• Ensuring that systems are in place to provide adequate resources to manage environmental risks to achieve the performance outcomes agreed by the RRA Board" Are these systems in place? What systems?

RRA enviro claim 3: (Clause 4) Aspire to zero net harm to the environment:
"Applying sound ecological principles that recognise the importance of biodiversity conservation e.g. ensure environmental risks are assessed to take into account impacts on biodiversity."
What sound ecological principles has RRA come up with?

RRA enviro claim 4: (Clause 6) Help to protect biodiversity from adverse impacts arising from our activities:
• To the extent possible areas known to be of particularly high environmental value in terms of their biodiversity will be avoided. In all cases infrastructure associated with the event will be located on brownfields sites avoiding the need to clear vegetation and away from areas likely to be associated with sensitive habitats.

• Measures will be taken to forewarn animals along the course prior to competition by traversing the course with a number of low speed course vehicles. How does RRA propose to "forewarn animals along the course?" Fly helicopters low over them? Use sirens to scare them to death? How is this consistent with applying sound ecological principles?

...having said that, I support the call by Ernysp76 to stop native vegetation clearing.

These "local" friends have had the fact that their rights have been taken away flown right past their heads, faster than a rally car.

They say "But the rally will make money for the town".

They do not realize that spectators will be locked into designated vantage points. unable to spend all that money in town at the local IGA or op shop and the one and only fish and chip shop !(Kyogle)

Perhaps the bottle shop will make some dosh before the race so eskies can be stocked up and they can drink stuck in the spectators area.

Once all the cars go past (each car only visible for a 30 seconds ) before they zoom round the next bend out of site, bar seen from a helicopters view and some TV only cameras coverage...

The only ones who cut down trees to turn into to floor boards or burn off, are the same idiots who want the rally, but they are not greenies, yet also say they love the country peace and lifestyle!

Go figure the stupidity!

Garry Connelly says people against the rally are causing panic? when 87% out of 400 homes on the route seem to approve the rally)end quote:
Well Garry what can we do? Remember, your Repco cohorts have ran CRYING to FAI in France to pressure Rees to approve it,Yet NO RESIDENTS have been consulted,no enviromental impact statement or D.A is or has been required ! or residents asked or even listened to BEFORE this rally went ahead!Our rights, our kinship to this area, has been
If this was a greenpeace ship in N.Z, France FAI/CAMS and Repco would have bombed us for our protest and enviromental concerns, such is the disreguard to our rIghts and concerns..It is grossly un- Australian un- democratic.
We have HAD no choice, If a V8 racing group came to your house in the suburbs and said " This is going ahead past your home no matter what you want" what would you do?
when even the NSW Govt has made your rate payments mean nothing, if you do not pay them you lose your house!
Out of protest, I will not pay Kyogle council rates because they do not fix our roads, they do not listen to our concerns.
They disreguard wildlife and the meaning of kyogle "Gateway to the rainforests" Is now the biggest scam motto ever adopted by a council supporting this rally (not that they could voice our concerns or stop it).
so I will be forced to give up and sell my farm to repay outstanding rates (Which I waited 35 years to get) and end up living in a caravan park or on the street.
But I will not go quietly, Repco will pay dearly for destroying my dream of life in a pristine enviroment, where I have replanted and regenerated rainforest "the big scrub"
Treasured wildlife, koalas and rare platypus nesting areas,
here in the creek- rally route.
Lived quietly with no social contact for 5 years.
I ask what past rally routes anywhere in the world but here have 400 homes with children close to the rally race route? what rare wildlife is affected by a car rally such as this anywhere else in the world?
Places like Dakar are desert other areas are dead plantation pine forests, why destroy our lives and wildlife for using our dirt roads? Small one lane roads that we pay hundreds of dollars a year to use and only repaired every 2 years that lasts 6 months, while our cars are wrecked using them.
No, you do not have support you do not live here, and you are scamming real people for an egocentric car race for money,power and greed !
rot in hell if you put cars and reviing heads above the enviroment!
You just turn up and tell us this is going ahead (like it or not) and now dare say 87% support it -GET REAL !
Repco stores will have the bodies of dead wildlife and other
affects of this race dumped on their store counters and conciousness as long as this goes ahead against human and animal rights!
Repco French FAI and CAMS are not Australian and sell out fellow
Australians for greed!

Perhaps Garry Connelly,should again resign from rallycorp or now REPCO, as he did in 2007.
This time realizing families with children are very close to the rally route, with some homes less than 2 meters from the race cars as they pass, a road barely drivable safely at at max 60 kph let alone 120 kph to 200 kph, also massive dust causing asthma and risk of cars spiraling airbourne into homes is a real danger. People will not be able to attend work, others unable to shop, care for animals or have the freedom to leave their homes. Others not free to seek medical support- their compensation =$22 AUD each free ticket, just to be locked into a designated spectators area.
That is the mega money making rally juggernaut that will bring in mega dollars for NSW?
22 dollars for each of the 400 residents affected?
What jobs? what business and tourism income? Surely Mr Conelly, a financial consultant and expert, could see this is a pitiful compensation to residents!
and the taxpayers of NSW!
But oh so cheeky to get NSW taxpayers to pay millions for this

Here is the email reply from Mr Rees (well his assistant)
over 8 weeks after I sent an an email.

I refer to your email dated 12 June 2009, concerning the staging of the World Rally Championship (the Rally) to be held in the Kyogle and Tweed shires from 3 to 6 September 2009 and the associated impacts. The Premier has asked me to thank you for your email and respond on his behalf.

In order to streamline the approval processes for holding the Rally, the came into effect on 1 July 2009. The legislation enables the Minister to authorise the conduct of a round of the World Rally Championship, subject to conditions. It is intended that the authorisation be subject to the conditions that would reasonably be required under standard application processes in relation to health, safety and the environment.

Importantly, the legislation provides for a review mechanism to enable any issues that may arise from the initial event to be examined and resolved. It is intended that a review into the impact s of the Rally on the tourism industry, the environment, Aboriginal cultural heritage, public safety and the local community will be conducted as soon as practicable after the first event is held in September 2009.

The review will include consultation with the local community of the Northern Rivers region and Kyogle and Tweed Shire Councils.

Over the life of the five event agreement, the Rally is expected to generate up to $100 million in direct economic benefits to the state. In particular, it is anticipated that it will increase tourism, jobs and economic activity in the Northern Rivers region. As such, it presents a significant opportunity for New South Wales.

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, through the Community Engagement and Events Division (CEED) is coordinating NSW Government agency support and involvement in the Rally. By ensuring the event organiser works closely with all stakeholders, it is expected that the disruption to the community caused by the event will be minimised and managed to the satisfaction of all parties.

Yours sincerely
John Trevillian
Assistant Director General

Having spent my whole life working in this area in the actual forests, having worked with, cared and rescued wildlife myself, i consider myself to have a better understanding of the habits of our fauna than many others who cry on the behalf of our mammalian cousins. So far all i have heard is emotional outpouring about peoples rights and to add an extra point to ram home their anti-everything mentality they now drag nature into the equation.

It is a mathematical equation nothing more nothing less, the amount of kilometres travel done by any car upon these roads at various times of the day, irrespective of the cars intentioned purpose will determine the frequency that wildlife is exposed to harm. The rest of the nay-sayers arguments are nothing but their outcrying at having failed to impose their will upon the rest of the populace as they are so used to doing and getting away with. It is power they crave to tell us why we should believe in what they do, egotism and cerebral arrogance in the end always shows it's hand. Before they started these brazen claims I was neutral, nay even ambivalent to the event, now i support it, as it appears it has the silent majorities approval judging by the turnouts and positive clamour in the streets, and i have witnessed nothing but professional courteous conduct from the "other side'.

How will you look and feel dear "preservationists" when nought but a frillneck is harmed by this weekends events, will you feel silly or plain stupid, no I would believe you won't you will self-justify your actions in some way to avoid the realisation you are part of the problem, not guru's with solutions for all.

Just returned home from amazing weekend spectating at the rally. Everyone we met and talked to was incredibly friendly and happy, a wonderful atmosphere at each spectator point, lots of happy families enjoying the excitement together. All visitors, like us, agreeing on what a beautiful part of the world the northern rivers area is and how much we'd like to come back soon for a holiday. Everywhere we went people were waving and cheering and smiling as we traveled by, in fact the only disgusting thing experienced all weekend was the destruction of property, vandalism and graffiti caused by a small handful of protesters. We are a diverse bunch of people that have to share this earth. We all have different hobbies, passions and beliefs. But to stereotype rally fans as a bunch of petrol head louts intent on destroying the earth is completely unfounded and ignorant.

Firstly, is a site to inform the public about the important environmental, social, and economic and other political issues of the day and a site on which to hold discussions about those issue.

The above comment, at face value, is not the sort of content we would normally encourage to be posted to this site.

At face value, it is an innocent, well-meaning statement about what an (almost) perfect weekend this fun-seeking, life-loving and well-meaning fellow and a large number of like-minded people, together with their families, had in the Kyogle and Tweed Rivers regions 'spectating' the races this weekend just past. At face value, it is fluff.

But, of course, it is not.

What it actually is is an intellectually dishonest attempt to argue the case for the World Rally, but which avoids acknowleging the reasons why local residents and environmentalists so strongly objected.

Note how this comment has neither acknowledged the content of comment to which it appears to be in reply (although, in fact, that comment is a pro-Rally comment, contrary to my own initial impressions as I have explained elsewhere), nor the content of the article itself.

The article is based upon a letter from a local pensioner to NSW Premier Nathan Rees. The letter objects to the way that local residents are getting fewer and fewer services and being charged ever more rates.

Once again, he has explained that he has been forced to spend "$3000 on car repairs just to able to access [his] home" because of the poor maintenance of the roads.

He has described how the road has been fixed only to hold the rally and that those repairs paid for out of his rates are likely to be destroyed by holding that rally.

He has described how his life would have been put at risk if their had been a medical emergency and access to his home had been blocked.

None of this elederly pensioner's stated anguish over the prospect of the staging of the Rally appears to have moved the person who wrote the comment in the least.

The comment describes as "disgusting" actions taken by local residents to protest against the rally imposed upon them and to impede its operation. I would be most interested to know precisely what instances of "vandalism" he/she claims occurred, that is, other than 'graffiti' and the much sensationalised claims that rocks had been placed on the road and stones thrown at cars (which could just as easily have been done by people attempting to discredit anti-Rally protestors).

I would be interested to know how this alleged vandalism compares to the damage that will almost certainly have been inflicted upon local roads and for which local rateayers will have to foot the bill in order to repair and I would like to know how this alleged vandalism would compare to the physical and psychological damage that will have been caused to local wildlife many species of which are endangered.

He/she writes, "to stereotype rally fans as a bunch of petrol head louts intent on destroying the earth is completely unfounded and ignorant."

In fact, I am unaware that anyone attempted to stereotype all "rally fans" thus, but a number clearly are, and have shown themselves to be by what they have posted to this site. If they are not "intent on destroying the earth," they are certainly don't care about the harm that their chosen recreation is causing to the environment.

I am sure that many spectators would probably claim to favour protecting the environment and have found ways to rationalise to themselves that the Repco Rally has not harmed the environment, but their professed concern for the environment clearly is contrary to their actions.

In regard to the person that wrote this commment, whether or not he/she is a "petrol head lout" he/has has shown himself to be selfishly indifferent to the wishes and needs of the human and wildlife residents of the area.

He brazenly states how much he/she would "like to come back soon for a holiday." I know for a fact that he/she does return he won't be welcome by local residents who truly love and care for the area.

I too was at the rally, as a protestor. Yes it is a beautiful part of the world, equal in its biodiversity values to Kakadu actually. Part of the reason it is so beautiful, and rich in biodiversity (which is rare) is that it has been largely unspoiled. The people who have chosen to live in this region for decades have done so because of its beauty and natural environment. Yes you had a nice time for a few days. We, who live here, deal with the interruptions, the rubbish, our towns being taken over, but ALL of us pay the bill. We are paying for the rally with our taxes. You might be for the rally, but what happens when the government decides to host something YOU don't approve of? and pays for it with your money? You might feel annoyed.

We are not protesting the rally purely for itself, we are advocating on behalf of the environment, we are protesting the fact that our rights have been taken away and that public funds are being inappropriately used. We have a right to protest and represent a wide cross section of the community including teachers, doctors, lawyers, grannies, farmers, artists, retirees, ordinary people just like you.

A lot of fuss has been made about the alleged rock throwing protestors (not true) and some graffiti (we have to live with all kinds of graffiti all the time, that the government/council never bother to clean up). And we too have suffered a lot of stereotyping - "hippies" "druggies" the most common shouts at us were "get a job" and "get a life" (how articulate). We have them. A range of jobs, and rich lives.

Unfortunately no media coverage has been given to the aggro pro rally spectators - burly men intimidating (women) protestors, trespassing to knock down protest signs on private property, tailgating and yelling "go rally" as they overtake while speeding excessively, yelling obscenities and threats. Oh yeah, but they are the minority! Thankfully they are, but a much bigger minority than the few alleged rock throwers. I wonder if you were at the cross roads of Sand St and Wommin Bay Rd Kingscliff as the event wrapped up yesterday? There were a few of the yobbo minority doing their thing and swearing at the protestors, but there was an amazing moment where about 60 rally spectators actually stopped and listened to the protestor speeches. It was as if they finally realised that we were actually fighting for their rights (and yours) as well.

Even though the police have been advising fans not to follow the example of the drivers by speeding, there is one example they can take - the fairness of the drivers. The protestors who met the rally drivers said they were actually very nice guys who said they didn't know that the rally was going through areas of such environmental value or that they were going past people's houses, and a couple even commented they thought "greenies were good people". Mikko Hirvonen also stated that even though he was in the lead during the alleged rock throwing, he didn't see anything like that happen.

Yes, it was a perfect weekend - almost... it felt good to connect with people who cared enough to front up in spite of intimidation to fight for a worthwhile cause, if only there wasn't that darn rally going on....

I wrote to Rees and others, As above has been stated,

The way the rally was railroaded over our rights as residents and not even the courtesy to ask or the insight to see this is a diverse sensitive area with wildlife and residents in the midst of the rally - beggars belief.

It was-" you have dirt roads and bugger the rest, and it's nearest to the TWEED and gold coast luxury".

Even avid rally enthusiasts were dismayed that it was on public roads in an environmentally sensitive and beautiful area.

We do pay rates and get little road maintenance for it...nothing else.

What we get is Tiled paved footpaths in town (done 6 months before the rally) anda 2 kilometre foot path 1km out of town right in front of the paddock showground where no one walks?
But campers for the rally paying $50 per night (to the council) can walk to the vet? No correction, the start of one of the rally routes and walk into town.

Some Rally spectators have assured me the roads will be regraded by Repco? They will be better and smoother than ever before(we shall see) probably just before the rally returns?

After the rally, our road is now worse than before,

After the rally, our road is now worse than before, large sharp tyre piecing rocks have been gouged out as have holes that have been filled -- now the road is rougher than ever!

We have to drive it. much more often and at less than RTA speeds, unlike the rally cars! WE PAY to use it - Repco, WRC and the FAI do not!

Will Repco-WRC-FAI act as fast as they ran to Rees and FAI and bulldozed the rally into our area? Or will they act like has been done on some other of the rally routes and grade the roads just before the next rally starts?

To add to the sliding-around-corners excitement as they miss a tree/fence or animal and rural kids watching in their paddock.
Well, there were thousands of strangers in Kyogle, the main street a the pits stop mechanical repair area all sunday. What a contrast ,a small town swelled 5 x its population, set in the backdrop of National parks and rainforests, but of course the millions of dollars money made? the one or 2 day jobs created.The Sebastien Loeb team filling a motel.

Will the skills of 1800 volunteer "öfficials" translate into real jobs?
Will it equal or surpass the millions of taxpayer $ paid to host it?
Or do we wait to see if tourism to the area is boosted as rally spectators world wide flock here to get a bag of road dust or drive on the roads and take photos? When hundreds of Aussiewide rally enthusiasts chose to stay at home???

Repco did not honour or respect the residents, bar by posted out giving us resident stickers to enable "free spectating in any rally route"

They did not send out party packs.

They did not ask how many extra tickets may be needed.

They did not return to advise of road closing times,window periods or even when and where we could go look at this spectacle of environmentally friendly road tearing rally racing near us?

Nor to the dismay of locals rally enthusiasts did Repco supply free beer/drinks and food.

The govt even enacted law to stop property owners making a small profit having paid camping.

They also did not advise about medical care in an emergency,or evacuation - lucky no child was bitten by a snake or someone in need of urgent help or their house was burning.

But why should they, it wasn't a residents public relations event our own elected NSW Govt had said no matter to the rights of rate paying residents and democracy doesn't account for them anymore.
I am ashamed and dismayed that a fellow pupil of my same high school could end up a premier of NSW that would then shaft my rights in favour of French influencing Australians or go in cohorts to plan scams against the environment and to Wreck Rural Choice for a rally on public roads!

No, Not in the city or near their homes.

No one thinks big of you Rees or Repco, the way you have sneaked in and pretended to care, knowing full well it was a done deal Months ago.

I did go and see one section of the rally, ($600 a year something back) And I do appreciate the skill and daring of the drivers, I was impressed with the keenness, the very friendly crowd and low key enthusiasm.

The oddity of most filming instead of looking at the cars directly? as they came into view for a few seconds from (3 kilometres away,) TV does capture it better....

Most of all the quietness and patience of the crowd to wait hours for 20 cars.

But dismayed by the dust still 20 metrrs in the air while the cars were 3ks ahead,the over the top police presence, choppers and RIOT SWAT teams??

All that paid public $$$ for 150 or more police wages for 3 days!!
What terrorism would residents or protestors do? To warrant that,
but behold a police state in power.

We knew this event was done and dusted well in advance and the disregard for our citizens and councils rights.

Well Rees and Repco show the benefits the millions $$ made over and above the taxes paid to hold the rally.

Prove it! You're gutless we know,

Show it is perfectly harmless and enhances the environment of this sensitive area.

You know it wasn't right for here because you legistlated underhandly! so no one could have the right to ask for our rights or concerns to be cared about!

It is better out in the dusty roads of the Qld outback.Or Dakhar or acid rain dead European Forests.

Koalas, platypus and wildlife and sensitive forests are places of rarity and peace.

Speed noise and crowds and Rallying are in such contrast and opposite for this area.

We wouldn't see Big trucks and Trailbiking races on Byron or Bondi Beaches as appropriate.

It is the same for here.

Tarmac and highrise and F1 racing go hand in hand where nature has been ripped out and concreted over.

As for those who put rocks on the road it was dumb, but such is the frustration and incredible disregard shown to Locals and ultimately all Australians who want to know that they have rights that mean they are heard.

when that is gone as it is now.

Those with any fight and not meekly saying this is OK will take some stupid and desperate actions.

It should be known that rally races have sweepers go ahead of the drivers and would see such obstacles - the police trail bikes went through slowly 3 x times before the race.

The SWAT team's truck and several police cars 3 x before as well as 10 Race officials' cars.

And of course car 0.

The rocks may have been put there in the brief space between each contestant and that is stupid.

Perhaps it didn't happen?

Much like the media and government fallacy about people freezing dead wildlife to place on roads. Road kill is very messy and usually very smelly and too large for freezers, Nor is it common driving at 40KPH on the current conditions of the roads or you will be your own road kill!

I was run off the road prior to event weekend. By some idiot, So why are stupid rally supporters not indicative of all?

I suppose the only way for most in favour to get a grasp of how this has over-ridden our rights is imagine if The Gay Mardi Gras was going to go the whole weekend in your suburban streets without your consent or consult.

Have been in touch with Kyogle council, to enquire when the roads will be graded and repaired by the even worse condition left by the Repco rally.

Hmm not his week was the reply, and Repco will only repair damaged sections corners/ bends not the full road grading as promised by rally enthusiasts and Repco.

So residents and rate payers can only expect the road to be graded just before the next rally event and only in sections where Repco deem necessary (for cars to slide and go faster, BUGGER the rate payers and people who depend on these roads day to day!

Yet another lie by the scams and Wreckers Rural Carriageways

Also a Neighbour who was a rally enthusiast received his "party pack" sent 11/09/09 actually not a what was expected, posters balloons etc but a glossy program guide.

Even for those locals that supported Repco Rally AUS - there is contempt! They have now been let down, They could not even have camping for spectators on their land.

That was stopped by Repco and Rees.

SO much for rural jobs and some meagre income to locals from the rally $20 million profit for NSW Nope, Only for Repco corporate sponsors.

I find it quite incredible that locals could not allow people to camp on their land. How does this stand in competition law?
What a tyrannical government Rees is running - and only to enrich corporations apparently. How can he pretend to lead a valid government when it overturns democracy and refuses to listen to its constituents. I would have thought that cancelled out any right to pretend to authority in a representative democracy.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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Having gone over the above rather cryptically written comment a number of times, I have finally worked out the point the above comment is making.

He/she claims to be a wildlife carer, 'originally neutral, nay even ambivalent to the event', but has come around to supporting the Rally for a number of reasons including:

1. That the claimed harm that the rally will cause to local wildlife and the environment are overstated;

2. 'Silent majorities' (sic) have approved the rally 'judging by the turnouts and positive clamour in the streets'.

3. Claims that he/she has "witnessed nothing but professional courteous conduct from the 'other side'."

Claims that risk to wildlife and environment exaggerated?

In regards, to point 1, how can we know that the rally will not cause harm to local wildlife, when no proper environmental assessment has been conducted and a large number of laws previously enacted in NSW to protect the environment in NSW have been negated in legislation puy before the NSW Parliament with the specific purpose of allowing the rally to proceed?

As pointed out elsewhere the expert whose views the World Rally organisation used to justify the decision to hold the rally at one stage retracted that view. Every other credible environmental expert who has become familiar with the issue of the rally has opposed the holding of the rally.

I did not attend the protests against the rally, but I have been that a pheasant was struck (but, fortunately not killed) by a rally spectator who broke the traffic laws and overtook across double lines. When the incident was reported to the police and the registration number of the offending car supplied, she was told that they were not dealing with such complaints.

Clearly the prediction that "nought but a frillneck [will be] harmed by this weekends events" is no more than wishful thinking, especially given that no experienced wildlife carers, except for one 'environmental scientist', clearly not the same thing have been employed by the rally organisers.

Given that the Rally organisers can be expected to do their utmost to cover up any deaths of or injury to wildlife, the full extent of the immediate carnage may never be known.

What will also be difficult to determine is to what extent the disturbance by overflying helicopters, car noise and noise from rally spectators will have on the state of mind of the wildlife and their breeding cycles.

How can anyone predict that in one or two year's time that we will learn that yet more endangered Australian wildlife from this region are either close to extinction or extinct?

If the person who wrote the above post was the true wildlife carer that he/she claims to be, we would expect him/her to stick around and offer his/her comments as opponents of the rally attempt to evaluate the extent of harm caused to wildlife by the Rally of last weekend.

"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

In regard to the 'silent majority', bandwagon argument:

How are we to ascertain that most residents have come around to supporting the rally given the absence of scientifically accurate opinion polls?

Even if it could be proven to be the case, is such opinion based on informed choice, when real debate over the issue has been avoided in the local counciel and the newsmedia (with one or two honourable exceptions)?

If opinion in the area in favour of the rally is so solid as is claimed, why was all this necessary?

Unfortunately it seems likely that the psychological warfare has succeeded in manipuating some local opinion including the person who wrote the above post, that is assuming that his/her claim to be a wildlife carer is at all genuine.

It seems to me that not a few amongst us find it difficult to cope psychologically with having their opinions repeatedly disregarded by the authorities and the newsmedia. Rather than remain seemingly perpetually on the losing side they rationalise to themselves that their opposition to the authorities' decision was wrong after all and decide to jump on the bandwagon.

Something similar seems to have occurred in 2003 when a strong majority of Australian public opinion opposed to the invasion of Iraq in the face of then Prime Minister John Howard's obstinate determinatin to proceed and relentless media lies, became a minority, although barely so. Eventually that minority became a majority again, but it did not save Australia and the rest of the world from untold harm in the meantime.

Wherever the truth about claims of public support for the Rally in Tweed and Kyogle shires may turn out to be, I don't believe that those who preached essentially "if you can't beat them, join them" as this person has, will be able to hold their heads high in the not-too-distant future about having said that.