Repco Rally Australia has adopted an independently-prepared Dust Management Plan for the World Rally Championship round on the Northern Rivers on 3-6 September.

An assessment report and action plan, prepared by Tweed Heads company HMC Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd, recommends measures to reduce the creation of dust and its effects. These will be adopted by Rally Australia.

Rally Organising Committee chairman Garry Connelly said the Dust Management Plan was another element in the program to minimise any potential environmental impact from the event.

“This plan has been the subject of a very thorough independent process by HMC Consulting, a local firm, and provides us with an accurate understanding of the issues involved and how to deal with them,” Mr Connelly said.

“We believe it does not identify any issues than cannot be satisfactorily managed.”

A key objective of the plan was to ensure appropriate environmental controls and procedures were in place to avoid or minimise the impact of adverse air quality.

Noting that all stages of the rally except the Murwillumbah Super Special stage will be run on gravel roads, the plan recommends measures to stabilise areas used by spectators which could become dusty, mitigating airborne dust, watering down problem areas and using dust supressants and dust barrier fences, plus air-conditioning of buildings where appropriate.

Dust issues will be monitored before and during the rally and a complaints procedure will be provided for members of the public needing to report dust problems.

The plan also includes vehicle exhaust emissions, but notes the low average number of cars competing in the rally could not be expected to have more than a minor effect on air quality.

Air quality could be expected to remain good, within relevant goals and consistent with that expected in a rural environment, the report says.