Repco Rally opponents (from left) Harry Boyd, Megan Jack and Benny Zable stage a protest outside the public meeting held by the State Government’s rally review team at the Kyogle Memorial Hall this week.
Repco Rally opponents (from left) Harry Boyd, Megan Jack and Benny Zable stage a protest outside the public meeting held by the State Government’s rally review team at the Kyogle Memorial Hall this week. Rebecca Lollback

Scepticism on Repco Rally review

THE Kyogle community remains deeply divided by last year’s Repco Rally, but an independent review is hoping to heal those wounds.

At a public meeting in the town this week hundreds of residents gathered to share their concerns.

Mike Cahill, who chaired the meeting, said the review would be ‘transparent and meaningful’ – but residents are sceptical. They are calling for the economic benefits of the rally to be fully analysed, but Mr Cahill said that was ‘not part of my job’. Instead, the review will focus on tourism, environmental concerns, the impact on the indigenous community and public safety.

Kyogle mayor Ross Brown said the council supported the rally and wanted to ‘minimise the impacts and maximise the benefits’.

Uralba resident Joe Pereira said reviewers would have a difficult time ‘separating the facts from the emotion’.

“I was very impressed with the rally. Since then I’ve come back to show people this beautiful part of the world,” he said.

Shane Piggott, who has always lived in Kyogle, said the rally had been exciting.

“I loved it,” he said. However, one woman said the rally was ‘horrible’ and another said she was ‘increasingly distressed’ because she felt a decision had already been made to continue the rally.

Others said the rally had ‘put Kyogle on the map’ and that 80 per cent of people in the community supported it.

No Rally Group spokesman Scott Sledge complained that the rally encouraged youths to drive fast.

“What is the social cost? Cars are necessary, but let’s not glamorise them,” he said.

One Kyogle man, a farmer who lives on the rally route, said the rally had been great.

“I am not a rev-head and I am not very interested in cars, but I sure got a kick out of the rally,” he said. “These are the kind of events that lift the town.”

Submissions on the rally can be made as part of the review process and they are due by February 19.



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