October 2002

CECIL PARK OLYMPIC SHOOTING COMPLEX

We are constantly asked what is happening with the Olympic Shooting complex at Cecil Park. It is now almost 2 years since the Sydney Olympics and what have we got to show for shooting’s contribution to the best games ever. Where is shooting’s promised legacy from the games?
Well, the complex sits quietly nestled into the Cecil Hills countryside much like Shrek having an afternoon nap.
I called in there last Sunday afternoon and found only one person, the security guard, in the entire complex. The place looked absolutely forlorn.
There have been some competitions over the last two years including the World Cup in April 2002 and a few clubs have made attempts to utilise the facility but essentially the complex is dormant.
The difficulty is in trying to get some sensible dialogue going with the owners, the NSW government. They will simply not discuss the matter. We have made repeated attempts to speak with the Minister and his staff but they have been refused. The NSW Shooting Association and the NSW Firearms Safety Awareness Council represent the largest network of shooting clubs, disciplines and training activity in Australia and yet the government is unable to discuss our legacy from the Sydney Olympics. You may find this rather unusual. We do.
In June 2002 the government put forward a Bill called the Sporting Venues Management Bill 2002 that is supposed to make provision for the future management of the complex by creating a management Trust. There are a few shooting faces on the Trust but they are outnumbered by the bureaucrats. With all due respect to the organisations mentioned it looks as if the Trust is just another arm of government.. The rumours that the complex is being prepared as a government training facility are receding since it looks more like residential development is gaining favour.
The government needs to realise that there will never be a satisfactory outcome to Cecil Park until shooting feels that it has “ownership” of the complex.

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