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End of an Era
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Sunday, 15 March 2020
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Statement from the Sea Lake Off Road Club Inc re: The Sea Lake Mallee Rally

Having explored the possibility of reconciliation and compromise with those who represent ‘Traditional Owners’ with claims over Lake Tyrrell, the Sea Lake Off Road Club regretfully wish to inform the public that after 48 years, the club has been told that Sea Lake Mallee Rally will no longer be allowed to run around the perimeter of Lake Tyrrell.

This decision has left the Sea Lake Off Road Club, the broader off-roading and Sea Lake communities puzzled and disappointed that a willingness to work together was found to be very one-sided. The club apologises to the numerous community organisations of Sea Lake that their annual major fundraiser has been taken away.

A Conservation Management Plan for the entire perimeter of the lake was funded by the Andrews Government in the hope that a resolution could be reached. Those contracted with carrying out this survey abandoned it, allegedly because of internal disagreements, leaving the survey unfinished.

Representatives of the Sea Lake Off Road Club met with Aboriginal Victoria, Barengi Gadjin Land Council and three (out of possibly seven) tribes that lay claim to Lake Tyrrell in Swan Hill on Wednesday, March 11.

The Sea Lake Off Road Club attended the meeting in Swan Hill in good faith with a willingness to work through any issues with the traditional owners to come to an agreement that would appease both parties and to allow the event to continue.

The SLORC representatives left the meeting very frustrated that there was no room, with the traditional owners that chose to attend, to negotiate any terms or compromise in ANY form and that their offers of assistance in the care of Lake Tyrrell was rejected. This is despite the fact that the club has looked after the land in conjunction with Parks Victoria for over four decades.

Aboriginal Victoria advised the Sea Lake Off Road Club that neither they, nor BGLC were able to support the application for a permit to run the Sea Lake Mallee Rally. Without this permit, Parks Victoria cannot issue a permit. Without this permit the Mallee Rally cannot go ahead.

The Sea Lake Off Road Club is hopeful that negotiations, compromises and reconciliation can occur moving forward to ensure that this very important community event can continue into the future.

 

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