Nationals differ in views on rally

Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

SPECIAL legislation approving the controversial World Rally Championship planned for the rural roads on the Tweed in September may even divide members of the National Party.

Tweed National Party MP Geoff Provest, who last week declared he would vote against the “Motor Sports (World Rally Championship) Bill”, has revealed he expects at least some of his National Party colleagues to vote for it.

National Party MP for Lismore Thomas George, whose electorate includes Murwillumbah and most of the rural areas where stages of the rally are to be held, is still to declare where he stands on the legislation. Mr George could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

But various business- people, including the Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber, have voiced their support for the rally, saying it will attract thous- ands of visitors and bring millions of dollars into the local economy.

On Friday Mr Provest declared he would vote against the Labor Government's special legislation because it took away traditional planning authority from Tweed Shire Council.

He said his decision was “not about supporting or opposing the rally” but “about backing local democracy which has only just been restored to the Tweed after several years of chaos” under council administrators.

But Mr Provest also complained that the proposed legislation did not include a “sunset clause” which would allow for a review of the rally approval after the first event this year.

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