Mayor of Tweed Shire Cr Joan van Lieshout has called for a bipartisan approach to the Repco World Rally to ensure the interests of the Tweed community come before party politics.

“It is important that the Repco World Rally event does not become political in any way,” Cr van Lieshout said.

“As Mayor of Tweed Shire, I believe it is vital that local government retains its power and that all decisions on behalf of the community be made by the elected body.

“The Tweed Shire community can be assured that their interests with regard to the proposed rally in September will be well represented by the elected body in all future negotiations with the State Government following their recent announcement of their intention to legislate for this event.”

Cr van Lieshout and representatives from Tweed and Kyogle Councils met today with the Minister for State Development Ian MacDonald.

“We were advised that the decision was made by the Department in order to secure the event following commitments for the delivery of relevant equipment from overseas,” Cr van Lieshout said.

“While I am obviously very disappointed that the event has been taken out of the hands of local government, I have uppermost in my mind the concerns of the community in regard to transparency and full communication with all negotiations.

“It has been on the agenda for many months awaiting relevant development application and during this time community members have expressed their concerns that a ‘fast car rally’ is not within the vision for the “Tweed Naturally” image which foremost in our strategic tourism planning for the future of the Tweed.

“I am determined that the process will be fully transparent and have requested that a review of the whole event be taken prior to any further agreements for the future.

“We have the opportunity now to set the forum for all future events of this nature through the democratic example set by this event.”