Councillor Katie Milne.
Councillor Katie Milne. Tweed Daily News

Protesters won't give up fight to stop rally

WITH less than 48 hours before Repco Rally Australia gets its start, protesters have vowed to continue their fight to stop the Tweed round of the World Rally Championship.

Al Oshlack, who represented Tweed Green's councillor Katie Milne in the Federal Court last week, and failed to get an injunction to stop the rally, said another legal battle may be just around the corner.

“Time is running out to seek an injunction, but I am looking at other legal avenues,” Mr Oshlack said yesterday.

“To get an injunction you need to prove irreparable damage to the environment, which is a bit difficult to prove before the event actually is underway.

“So we will be keeping a close eye on things once the race starts and if there is any evidence of damage to the habitat that is home to 11 animals on the Commonwealth list of endangered species, then we will seek an injunction then.”

Last week Mr Oshlack said he would appeal the Federal Court decision in the NSW Land and Environment Court with the hearing said to be scheduled for yesterday; but now the lay lawyer with the Indigenous Justice Advocacy Network in Lismore is appealing to parliament to stop the rally.

Mr Oshlack said he has contacted the NSW Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, to appeal for last minute, special conditions to be given to the rally, to offer better protection to the local environment.

“Mr Oshlack yesterday contacted the minister's office, however there have been no discussions with Mr Oshlack and the minister's officer regarding the event,” a ministerial spokesperson said, adding the minister can impose special conditions on the event.

Mr Oshlack is also appealing for the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to step in and veto the rally that is expected to generate $31 million for the Tweed economy.

“Garrett can have the final say and stop it in its tracks,” Mr Oshlack said.

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