Councillor Katie Milne.
Councillor Katie Milne. Tweed Daily News

Push for power over rally routes

TWEED Shire Councillor Katie Milne will this afternoon ask for her fellow councillors to support her in trying to regain some power in decisions regarding the Rally Australia event.

The Greens advocate will put forward seven motions at the council meeting regarding the rally-car race to be held in the shire in September.

“I think it's time we had a bit of input,” Cr Milne said.

Tweed Shire Council lost all power regarding the controversial rally last month when the State Government passed the Motor Sports Bill 2009 and approved the event.

“We were promised total say and we got none at all,” Cr Milne said.

“It's totally out of our hands. I'm a bit upset about that.

“It would be really nice to be able to have an opportunity to look at alternative routes.”

Cr Milne said the new routes could still be in the Tweed Shire but have less environmental impact.

“It looks as if we have to have it so it would be better if it didn't go through national parks and over old rickety bridges,” she explained.

“There's only one route that doesn't pass through koala habitat.

“I'm disappointed we didn't have any input into the route decisions.”

The Tweed Shire has 300km of dirt roads which could be used, Cr Milne said.

“I believe we could identify some that might have less environmental impact.

“I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for alternate routes.

“And I don't believe it's too late,” she said, citing the recent location change of the service area.

Cr Milne will also ask councillors to approve a shire-wide survey through the Tweed Link on community and visitor attitudes towards the rally.

“Community consultation has been lost on the wayside.

“I believe it (the survey) should be done immediately.

“Community acceptance is a very important issue to find out.”

Cr Milne's is proposing the councillors write to the NSW Premier to express their objection to the event and request that the decision to hold the event in this location, and in this wildlife breeding season, be seriously reconsidered.

Another of her motions asks that the Council write to the State Government to ensure the community's democratic right to protest peacefully and ask that police desist from using tasers at the event, due to recent reports of taser overuse by police.

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