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Originally published 14Aug2009


WWSvBSC at L&E Court, GARRETT letter REPCO Rally

APOLOGIES if I have offended Bay FM and The Echo for sending out info from another community group about very contentious local issues.

WOOLWORTHS CHALLENGE BSC in the Land and Environment Court: upcoming. Woolworths nose is out of joint because BSC rejected their on-site sewer-on-a-bog and so they are going to the L & E Court and, in the meantime, getting a high profile wastewater consultant to quickly knock up a new scheme which they hope will hold water ("scuse pun). BSC staff recommended that the GM deal with this himself, to which we responded "MCAN feels this will lead to a weak defense (or none at all) and to a rapid loss of the case (and even of costs)".

At the council meeting on Thurs 13 Aug, Garry Scott outlined the situation and pointed out an important omission in the BSC Agenda; councillors voted 7-2 to vigorously defend their rejection of the sewer-on-a-bog at the Land & Env Court. What's more they made some passionate and moving speeches (a quote below), esp Jan, Basil, Simon and Tom. The full Resolution will be on the BSC website on Monday. MCAN is well pleased with the councillors" response and their vote.

QUOTE: Cr Simon Richardson said "this is a clear case of community action. There is a widespread belief that this kind of development is both environmentally, socially and economically destructive for this shire and I thank the community for being so vigilant with it. I think its the only way ultimately that we are going to achieve victory against the 'big boys in town' so to speak. The only way is if the community remains vigilant and if the council here and our legal team remains more prepared."

FUNDRAISING COMMUNITY EVENT including ‘NO RALLY" group tomorrow Sat 15 August at Durrumbul Hall from 4.30 pm Welcome to Country. This is also a celebration of the Rainbow Dreaming exhibition organized by Harsha Prabhu 0434 490 737.

REPCO RALLY ‘THE GREATEST SHOW ON GRAVEL" Cars enter and exit the bus stop of Murwillumbah for the stunning spectacle of night time rallying. Brake rotors glowing, sparks flying, flaming exhausts, light pods at full beam. All on the tight confines of the Murwillumbah street circuit. See the video on

A different message is at the NO RALLY website
Right now the most urgent task is to write a letter to Minister Garrett asking him to refer the Repco Rally Australia for consideration as a controlled action under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Please take a couple of minutes to send this email to Garrett TODAY ... yes, it's that urgent! You can copy & paste – insert your name & address at the bottom.

Send to:, copy to ,

The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Dear Minister,

I write to urge you to refer the Repco Rally Australia for consideration as a controlled action under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. I would be obliged to receive your advice, in the event that you do not call in the Repco Rally Australia project for
consideration as a controlled action, why the information below was insufficient for you to do so.

This matter should be referred by you for consideration as a controlled action because:

a) the evidence and opinions contained in the reports of Dr Stephen Ambrose and Mr. Mark Graham show that the rally will have significant impacts on three matters of national environmental significance;

b) the reports of Dr. Stephen Phillips commissioned by the proponents are inadequate as detailed in the Ambrose and Graham reports. Inadequacies include, but are not limited to; inadequacy of Phillips" field researchundertaken in Autumn for an event occurring in Spring, the peak breeding time for the affected species; failing to recognise species at risk; failing to treat the risks arising from a motor car rally that is to be held bi-annually for 10 years cumulatively; limiting risks to vehicle strike and not including habitat disturbance and destruction arising from

20,000 spectators attending rally stages in ecologically sensitive environments; habitat disturbance and destruction arising from the rally vehicles racing and attendant infrastructure to service and monitor rally cars in ecologically sensitive environments etc;

c) notwithstanding the above Dr. Phillips did deem it necessary that the rally proposal be referred to you for advice and/or approval. Why was this not done?;

d) no environmental controls are in place at Local Government level due to the NSW Government special legislation [Motor Sport (World Rally Championship) Act 2009] removing state environmental assessment procedures that normally protect the natural environment;

e) NSW Government, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of Friday 7 August, had no conditions whatsoever imposed for the conduct of the rally at this time. A spokesman for the Minister was reported as still awaiting "feedback from agencies and local councils" at this late stage. The rally is to be held between September 3 – 6, ie next month. Under the NSW
special legislation the Minister must give the rally promoter notice in writing of any proposed conditions and allow the promoter 14 days to respond in writing.

f) NSW Government has not consulted adequately with its National Parks and Wildlife Service officers who have knowledge of the ecological significance of the proposed rally area (Tweed Caldera) which is the second most biologically diverse region in Australia.

It should be noted that precedence for the referral of an international car racing event for approval under the EPBC Act has been set by the organisers of the V8 Supercar 400 event, which will be held at Sydney Olympic Park on 3-5 December 2009. The NSW Homebush Motor Racing (Sydney 400) Act, 2008 affords special protection to the V8 Supercar 400 Event from the effects of NSW planning and environmental legislation that normally protect the natural and urban environments. However, there was still a need to refer the proposal for this event to you because of the potential impacts on matters of national environmental significance.

It is incredible to me, how the V8 Supercar 400 event was referred to you and not the Repco Rally Australia event which appears to be a greater threat to matters of national environmental significance. The Repco Rally threatens not two, but about 12 federally listed vulnerable and endangered species. The Ambrose Report also notes how the rally threatens migratory
birds, and it also has impacts on the World Heritage values of the area. This is three out of the seven matters of national environmental significance defined under the EPBC Act!

Yours faithfully,

(name, address, phone #)

cc. Ms Patrina Alcock
Compliance Officer, Compliance and Enforcement Branch
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

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