Defending community values against the motor sport industry
Defending democracy and the environment in NSW
2009, the NSW Parliament passed special legislation to allow the WRC
Repco Rally to race at high speeds through the towns, national parks
and rural roads of Tweed and Kyogle Shires in the beautiful and
unique Northern Rivers region.
Rally Group was formed to oppose this event, and the
undemocratic processes that allowed it to happen. We support the
many residents who hold concerns about the use of
special legislation to override environmental laws; the use
World Heritage listed landscape
as a backdrop for high speed racing;
use of public funds to pay for the event; and its
the local community.
Latest video by freelance photographer Jimmy Malecki:
by organisers: WRC rally is moving to Coffs
Wednesday September 29th 2010
Thanks and congratulations
to everyone who has supported the 'No Rally in the Northern
No Rally Group media release
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Rallyís departure a big win for our
No Rally Group members, and our many
supporters, are breathing a collective sigh of relief today with
the end of a ĎDavid and Goliathí struggle.
The news that the World Rally Championship will not return to
Tweed and Kyogle is a victory for common sense, residentsí
rights, our local economy, and the safety of people and wildlife.
Itís a win for our ecotourism industry, which should be nurtured
as the natural tourism drawcard for the region. Itís a win for
safe driving on our dangerous roads. Itís a win for our national
parks which need to be protected for all non-human species. And
itís a win for the community, who can now start to work together
to decide which events truly reflect the character and future of
Itís not often a community group sees success in a fight to
protect ourselves and our environment against poor governance and
the depredations of big business. It can only be put down to the
passion of the many locals who love the Tweed and want to see it
develop in a sensible, safe and sustainable direction.
If itís true that this is the only place ever to have the WRC
pull out because of the concerns of locals, it's also a win for
grassroots over global interests. The WRC is a marketing event,
and the real beneficiaries are car companies and media
corporations who make many millions from the broadcast rights.
The rallyís touted economic benefit to the local area is so
dubious that it led Tweed Shire Council to recommend an
independent full cost-benefit analysis of any future rally. TSC
last week voted by a narrow 4-3 margin to continue supporting the
event, and resolved that a
comprehensive, peer reviewed economic analysis should be
undertaken by the Southern Cross University.
This is a vote of no confidence in the
review, which was criticised from the start because of its limited
scope, secretive procedures and the fact it was conducted by the
unqualified CEO of a marketing company.
We call on rally organisers to
acknowledge the people opposed to the rally are not a radical
minority, but a diverse group of community members concerned with
protecting our democratic rights and our environmental heritage.
Contrary to the claims of rally
proponents, residents opposing it are ordinary, working,
contributing people from many walks of life, with legitimate
concerns and a passion for the future of this region. Three
thousand signatures against the rally were gathered in a few weeks
last year, and polls have consistently showed residents donít
want the rally.
We thank everyone in the community who has
supported us morally, financially, and with the thousands of
letters you have written to government departments, rally
organisers and media.
Rally Australia has consistently fuelled
community divisions by making misleading and conflicting
statements about their activities, and by ignoring the concerns of
residents about transparency, the environment and proof of
We hope the organisers will learn from
their mistakes here and conduct proper community consultation in
Coffs Harbour. We also hope they stay out of that regionís
national parks, which deserve just as much protection as those in
Wherever the rally goes in NSW, it will
bring with it the specially enacted Motor Sports Act, which
overturns 12 hard earned laws. This will cause great concern to
residents who care about rights and due process, no matter where
the rally goes. We continue to call for this legislation to be
This outcome supports our view that in
2010 it is just not appropriate to change the law for the sake of
political prestige and big business profits, or to use national
parks, World Heritage Areas and residential roads as a staging
ground for rally racing.