Friday, September 18, 2009

Aaaaah,Time to Reclaim my Life back, Post Rally

Well it has been a very long time since I have had any time to even think about posting something in here......I became obsessively busy, with the stop Repco's, World Rally Championship, high speed car rally, racing thru residential areas and National Parks in our amazing Biodiverse Hotspot, the Green Cauldron, the Iconic Mt Warning Caldera.



We had a large successful and fun rally, in late May, marching thru the town of Muwillumbah on a Thursday afternoon, with about 350 people, not bad for sleepy quiet Mur-bah

We have been privileged to have been host, to the Four Endangered Animal Costumes since then, although the Koala did head off to Japan on a mission, to highlight the plight of Australia's Forests, being turned into WoodChips



We had a lot of fun making card board Rally Cars, and our march was a vibrantly colourful piece of Street Theatre



We tried to shame the Minister for the Environment, into honouring his 'Launch' of our 'Green Cauldron' a hotspot of more biodiversity than Kakadu!, but he failed to see the point. Rumour has it that he is teetering on the edge of revoking the State Government's 'Special Legislation', that they rushed thru parliament, wiping out 12 Environmental Acts, designed to protect our environment, at the behest of a foreign company !



We gathered at the Service Park on 29th August to begin our Rally Week Public Peaceful Protests, but RRA was running behind schedule, and weren't about to open for another 5 days ! It gave us a good dress rehearsal, of organising large groups of people quickly, into impressive photo shoots. Such a pity most of the regions anti rally folk became too scared, of the fear of encountering the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), and the never seen Dog Squad.



I have been painting banners and writing out lettering for other people to paint as well,



Our wonderful Mt Warning Spear Lilly, grew it's first flower in 17 years, and it finally opened the week before the rally after taking 1 year to grow to full length, looking like a boom gate, saying "No Road...No Rally Here", a perfect place to hang some of my banners for photographs.



Some of my painted boards, designed to be roadside, in places to remind people, that animals have died here on the roads, like the road accident memorials one sees along dangerous roads.



The 7th Generation is a group of concerned Kyogle Shire residents, who began the anti rally campaign back in February or before. Although mainly grey haired grandparents, they have been recently described in the media, as a " Radical Fringe Group ", lol.

We have had an incredible amount of false reportage, since the rally weekend approached, with stories of Frozen Koalas, being thrown onto rally race 'special stages', by anti rally protesters, in lieu of real roadkill from the rally.

The biggest false story, which has vilified the peaceful protesters, was that anti rally protesters had hurled/pelted the first 3 rally cars on special stage 6, before they decided to cancel it. Despite those 3 top drivers saying to media that they had not witnessed any such behavior, and that they normally do not race thru residential areas or National Parks !!
No evidence was ever provided, and 1 week later rally organiser Garry Conelly, finally stated, in the Sydney Morning Herald," there had not been any rock throwing" on the said Friday on stage 6 !!

Yet those rumour based stories, did ensure that we made the 'New York Times', Abu Dhabi's 'The National' weekend magazine, and the UK's Daily Mirror.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/09/04/sports/sports-uk-rallying-australia.html?_r=1
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090908/SPORT/709079864
http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/09/05/134151_world-rally-championship.html
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/car-rally-rock-attack-story-false-20090909-fhna.html
http://www.tweedecho.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1532&Itemid=543
http://www.tweedecho.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=754


Some of the rally drivers have said publicly, that if locals don't want the rally in this beautiful green region, then rally organisers should re-locate it to a more suitable location.

There have been reports of quite a few animals, several snakes/lizards,



and several birds hit by rally cars. There are 3 wallaby joeys, currently being fed by wildlife carers. Also two reports of Koalas behaving strangely, since the rally.

Rally Australia's Koala Management Plan, to ascertain no Koalas ran across roads during the rally, was to scare the life out of them, with low flying throbbing Helicopters and cars with air horn sirens. Also to station Koala guardians beneath the Koalas daily chosen, tree. They sent two people along in a ute to 'spot' where the Koalas were, a very short time before the rally cars were due. Koalas are notoriously hard to spot, even for our Resident Koala Watcher Kathryn, who has started an incredible Koala Watch program, with some amazing photographs, of Koalas doing their morning yoga, and showing off their new babies !
They also sent 10 cars in after the rally cars, before allowing the wildlife 'sweep car' to check for and record any injuries.

Although we were told by rally organisers, that rally drivers, would respect and obey our road rules, whilst driving on the liaison stages between the special stages, that they race on, we soon found that they thought nothing of some very dangerous driving. Overtaking slower cars, across double white lines, on some of our most dangerous corners and bends.



This one started overtaking our diesel van on the way up a mountain range, and as he began, my 78 year old mother, driving, exclaimed, "There's a car coming down the around the bend", I snapped off another shot, and caught all three vehicles in the same frame. The rally driver thankfully, held his nerve and with a recent road repair, widening the edges and fixing the deep potholes, there was just enough room for us all, and a major mutli car accident was narrowly averted.



The car traveling down in the opposite direction, was actually a ute with a box trailer on it, and could have been in real trouble ! As could all the vehicles following.



It has been an amazing campaign, we have all learnt an amazing lot of new skills, particularly computer literacy, not something everyone was up on, at the beginning. Without our online groups, facilitating ideas and discussions between infrequent meetings, due to the distance that the rally route encompassed, we would never have achieved as much as we have.

They had to drive some 1,600 and something kms to race just 344kms !

I have 1 & 1/2 scrap books already filled with news clippings, with many more clipped ready and then many, many papers still to be gone thru. ( I leant the scrap books to two NRG members to allow them to compile all the 'lies' and 'spin', put out by Repco Rally Australia.

Tune into Media Watch this coming Monday 21 September, as I have been talking with one of their researchers last week and this week, to try and get our story set straight and the truth out to the people, seeing that our local media has been so biased, except for the Tweed Echo.

4 comments:

DELiciousDesignz said...

Well you have been busy - I couldn't get over the size of that snake!!!

Leah said...

I agree, you have been extremely busy, well done, you have so much passion! And that snake, Yikes!!

rensfibreart said...

well done Megan, you passionate soul you!!!
you must be exhausted now - I wonder too what that snake had for lunch.....

jenny said...

Beautiful Holiday decorating, Kirsten! I love all the hints of purple and magenta with the silver and gold...and the new brooches look lovely :)

r4 dsi