MPs likely to support Repco Rally

MURWILLUMBAH Business Chamber president Toni Zuschki and husband Michael have been waving the flag in favour of the car rally.
MURWILLUMBAH Business Chamber president Toni Zuschki and husband Michael have been waving the flag in favour of the car rally.

SPECIAL legislation planned by the NSW Labor Government to give approval to the controversial world car rally championships planned for September is likely to be supported by Tweed's two National Party MPs.

But both say they first want to see the details, and are upset the normal process allowing supporters and opponents of the event to have their say was scrapped.

Legislation overriding the planning powers of both Tweed and Kyogle shire councils was announced on Friday evening after rumours escalated that the Government was about to intervene.

Yesterday Tweed MP Geoff Provest, whose electorate covers the planned rally HQ at Kingscliff, and Lismore MP Thomas George, whose seat includes Murwillumbah and most rally stages, were waiting to study the legislation.

Greens Party MPs tipped to oppose the law in the NSW Upper House would be outnumbered if both Labor and Coalition members support it.

The National Party MPs promised they would consult with the councils to try to ensure concerns about the environmental and social impacts of the event are considered.

But Mr George warned the legislation could be flawed because it would be rushed.

“That is typical of the legislation we get,” he said.

“Time is running out.

“Once Parliament finishes in three weeks time we won't be sitting again until the first of September.

“Personally I'm disappointed they (the rally organisers) took so long to put in the DA (development application)”.

Mr Provest said Tweed residents had waited more than three years to “get a democratically elected council back to deal with these issues” only to find the Government again “stripping the powers from the Council and the local people”.

He said he was hoping to get details of the legislation late yesterday afternoon and would “have a look at it” before deciding how to vote.

The Government's decision was derided by No Rally Group spokesman Michael McNamara, who said NSW Minister for State Development Ian McDonald and his minders had fallen victim to “misinformation” and “spin” being peddled by the rally organisers.

He warned rally organisers should “realise that the residents of the NSW North Coast have a proud and effective history of resisting inappropriate development.”

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