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Raceway through the Rainforest. Paradise lost!

We have a juggernaut coming our way - and we are not happy! Council never asked us how we felt when they were first approached by Repco Rally Australia. We ratepayers are just expected to keep paying rates, keep quiet and put up with whatever is thrown our way. Treated like mushrooms, you might say.

We like the quiet life which is why we chose to retire here, after living in the city all our lives. A beautiful drive along the ridge with beautiful views. It is Scenic Drive No. 3 (of 10) presented by Kyogle Council for tourists to enjoy and promotes "the Gateway to the Rainforests". In future it will be "the Raceway through the Rainforests".

With many people living on this road, some right beside the road, it is totally unsuitable. The rally route will run right through our front yard, as our property spans both sides of the road. We are talking lifestyle blocks here.

We are told to expect helicopters hovering overhead (at least 5 beaming to 50 million viewers worldwide), cameras everywhere invading our privacy. Our gates are locked. We are confined to wherever we happen to be when they take over our road. Should an accident happen they propose to fly us out for medical treatment!! Will that include flying the vet in should we have a cow having problems calving? The wildlife will have to wait until the racing is over too if they happen to venture onto the road. We have an almost blind koala near us, one of many living on Sargents Road, who will be terrified by the noise and dust and general commotion going on.

Where do you go when that time comes in your life when you have the time to appreciate this beautiful country? Well you won't want to come here.

Particularly in September when the rally is proposed to come. Thousands of people (19-35 years is the target age) descending on the area. Those with money to spend will be staying over on the Tweed coast, or up at the Gold Coast. Those less cashed up with head to the tent city in Kyogle. The businesses likely to benefit in this small, economically challenged, town - apart from our small number of accommodation providers, are the Bowling and Golf Clubs, the two pubs and the cafes.

From discussions with neighbours and people in Kyogle, it's obvious the majority don't realise the impact this is going to have, nor do they realise this event returns every 2nd year for another 6 times. There is a large elderly population in the town who could be traumatised by the sheer numbers hanging around. The people in this community are split by this event, which is what Repco Rally Australia like (divided we fall).

Did Events NSW realise when they put upwards of $5m of NSW taxpayers money towards this event, just what they were doing?

Those people who wait and wait for treatment in hospitals might be interested to know where the NSW tax $s are being spent. Hospitals in this region too are suffering, with one of the highest 'baby boomer' populations in Australia.

Shouldn't tax $s be spent on services that are needed, not investing in an event, where cars race around country residential roads, creating mayhem, destroying gravel roads in the area. Who knows how long it will take to make them trafficable again. The rally comes to Kyogle, ruins the roads and departs. Thank you very much!

Not even the rally people are putting money into the Kyogle area. They are all staying at Salt, on the coast. Even the rally cars are being serviced etc. at Kingscliff (taking over the public foreshores to do so). I could go on and on.

So, Where do you go when that time comes in your life when you have the time to appreciate this beautiful country? !! Well, you may not want to come here.

See also: Kyogle residents fight World Rally motor race of 7 Mar 09, Kingscliff residents fight to save seaside park from being used as World Rally pits area of 12 Apr 09, World Rally races threaten endangered Koalas in bio-diverse Kyogle shire of 16 Apr 09.