Rally protesters didnt throw rocks
ROCKS were never thrown by protestors on the Byrrill Creek stage of September’s Repco Rally, police have said.
Chief Superintendent Jeff Loy said the widely publicised allegations that rally protestors had thrown rocks at competitors during stage six had been investigated.
“There was no evidence rocks were thrown,” Supt Loy said. “It did not happen.”
Supt Loy made the announcement during a public meeting held in Murwillumbah on Wednesday as part of the rally review being conducted by the NSW Government.
“They protested peacefully,” Supt Loy said.
The Byrrill Creek stage of the rally was cancelled after a marshal reported rocks had been thrown at competitors.
Anti-rally protestors denied having been involved in the rock-throwing, which was reported in the media around the world.
Protestors were also accused of trying to obstruct the Byrrill Creek stage by cutting fences to let out livestock, waving yellow flags to confuse competitors and placing boulders on the road.
One protestor is alleged to have stood in the path of competitors to read out a prepared speech.
Supt Loy said he could not comment on these claims.
“I can only speak about the allegations of rock throwing,” he said.
No Rally group spokesman Scott Sledge said rock-throwing allegations had gained more attention than the rally itself. “It was reported as far away as the New York Times,” he said.
Mr Sledge said the accusations had caused protestors to be vilified as extremists.
Rally review meetings were held in Kyogle and Murwillumbah.
Under the 2009 Motor Sports Act, a review of the event’s impact on tourism, the environment, Aboriginal cultural heritage, public safety and the local community must be conducted and a report then prepared for Parliament.