Kingscliff Soccer Club and Twin Towns Little Athletics (purple) members say “stay off our grass”.
Kingscliff Soccer Club and Twin Towns Little Athletics (purple) members say “stay off our grass”. Crystal Spencer

Clubs want rally cars off fields

TWO Tweed sports clubs with more than 750 members have called for the controversial Repco Rally Australia to be taken away from their Kingscliff sports fields because of the damage and disruption caused last year.

The Kingscliff District Football Club and Twin Towns Little Athletics have written to state MP for Tweed Geoff Provest protesting at “excessive and unreasonable” disruption to their activities after the fields were left in an “unplayable” condition.

The Walter Peate sports reserve was used as the main “rally pits” last September, drawing thousands of spectators to look at cars taking part in the World Championship Rally.

But the sports clubs have been careful to say they are not opposed to the actual rally, which was met with hundreds of protesters along rally routes through the Tweed and Kyogle shires.

The rally is due to return to the Tweed in September next year, with organisers already promoting the event on their website.

The sports fields are described as the “Kingscliff Service Park” where spectators can “watch the teams service the cars ... meet the teams and take in the pits” every day free of charge.

Football club president Pete Gladwin said he and little athletics manager Peter Campbell had fired off the letter to Mr Provest because of the impact on the clubs.

“We paid to lease our fields in the off-season for the first time. But the fields were in such bad condition we couldn't use them at all,” he said.

“They drove cars all through there and it was an absolute mess.“This isn't about the rally per se. It's about our fields.”

Their letter voices “opposition to using the Walter Peate Reserve in any capacity for the Repco Rally Australia ”.

The two club leaders said the athletics season was delayed by five weeks, affecting athletes who had no training facilities for State and national titles.

“We believe that the disruption to our clubs was excessive and unreasonable,” they wrote.

Mr Provest said he was standing “right behind the local people” who had raised genuine concerns and it might be necessary to look at other areas for the rally pits because organisers did not deliver on promises to restore the sports fields.

He said he had forwarded the letter to rally organisers, NSW Minister for Major Events Kevin Greene and Tweed Shire Council and is waiting for responses.

Rally spokespeople could not be contacted.

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