The Project is part of the Victorian Government’s Shooting Sports Facilities Program, with an initial budget of $150,000 but is likely to have an output of $200,000 to go into the upgrade of the only biathlon range in Australia. Stage 2 will commence after the Australian winter, and will include sealing of tracks, to allow rollerskiing and disabled access.
Some statistics to the end of Stage 1:
- two years of planning including several lead up meetings in Melbourne and Mount Hotham
- several tonnes of earth scraped from the front of the three new firing point positions and shifted to behind the three new target positions created, involving the use of a bobcat, tiptruck and backhoe
- 3 tonnes of equipment delivered just prior to Easter, including: 144 lengths of treated pine decking, a dozen treated pine vertical poles of 1.8 metres or higher, 36 sheets of corrugated iron, 4 storm water pits, several lengths of drainage pipes, 31 bags of cement weighing 20 kg each and 1,250 batten screws
And for the Kids Project – some works that younger kids undertook, managed by Phil Mann, whose family Carol-Ann, Dominic, Elliott and Gordon all helped: stripping the uninsulated and drafty weatherboards off the side of the hut, replacing rotten ones; putting up foil insulation on the wall to stop drafts and water/snow ingress, putting the weatherboards back on and repainting.
This was heaps of fun, involving nailing, cutting, measuring, stapling, taping, levelling, a bit of digging, sealing gaps, and painting.
Each Easter brings many families to the home of biathlon in Australia, including three generations of the Cranage/Cullen Family, who also managed to rope in two relatives for a tour of the range and a spot of maintenance work.
Range Development Project Manager, Neil Richardson, reported: “It is fantastic that so many people are willing to come and give their time to a project that benefits all. Many younger members have played a significant part in maintaining and improving conditions, this Easter was no exception.
Mr Richardson continued: “the “Age for Effort” award goes to young Mantas, helping with drilling holes and putting in screws. It was a big effort by all, we accomplished a lot, with many independent smaller groups headed by myself, Wal managing the target infrastructure, David on the firing point and Ryan managing the drainage, all working to achieve one large goal. We must also recognise the “runners” like Giles, who literally ran around getting things, or holding things for others, and Greg O’D, who provided backhoe expertise. It was very pleasing to see. We are very appreciative of the ongoing support we receive from both the Victorian Government and Mount Hotham Resort Management.”
ABA President, Dr Grant Flanagan, said: “With a membership of 180 people, to have 50 people turn up over the Easter Break to help build a better and bigger range is the greatest indication that we are heading in the right direction and it gives me great pride that we have such a strong volunteer base.”