WRC avoids conservation areas
AN independent report has confirmed the proposed route of the WRC Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast in September does not include any gazetted conservation areas.
The report compiled by Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd focused specifically on three proposed roads near the Sherwood Nature Reserve, Twelve Sixty Flora Reserve in Bagawa State Forest, and near Dorrigo National Park.
It examined whether the roads were gazetted as reserves and concluded the proposed course was entirely on State forest, shire or crown land.
Rally Australia general manager Michael Masi said the report would be followed by a full environment assessment, gauging impacts to flora and fauna.
“The engagement of a specialist environment assessment firm has confirmed the proposed Rally Australia route does not use roads in any gazetted conservation areas,” Mr Masi said.
“It also says the proximity of the proposed course to the reserves does not in itself constitute a significant impact.
He said spectator points and parking would not occur near nature reserves.
“We will follow this recommendation without question.
“We are happy this report demonstrates the rally organisers have been diligent in their research on the proposed route.
“This is only the first step in an extensive environmental impact study which will be undertaken by Rally Australia in coming months.
“We look forward to working in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure we minimise the impact on the natural attractions that the Coffs Coast has to offer.”
The survey referred to the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.
“It’s our intention to ensure this major event, showcasing not only the Coffs Coast, but also NSW as a whole, is able to go ahead without any legitimate environmental or ecological concerns,” he said
Minimising concerns on another front, Rally Australia has informed teams and spectators around the world that the Coffs Coast has not been involved in the devastating Australian flooding.
Rally Australia, round 10 of 13 in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, will be held on September 8 to 11.