Share this page

Families of Australian Biathlon Association carried out a working bee at Mount Hotham Shooting Range

Families of Australian Biathlon Association carried out a working bee at Mount Hotham Shooting Range

It has been a busy time of the year for Australian Biathlon Association (ABA) members and their families over Easter who carried out a working bee at Mount Hotham Biathlon Range.

Almost 50 people participated over the long weekend which saw maintenance works and other jobs completed over six days.

The ABA was awarded $150,000 through the Victorian government grants under the Shooting Sports Facilities Program. Together, with the ABA’s own funding and the support from the Victorian government, the project will have an output of up to $200,000 to go into the upgrading and maintenance of the shooting range.

The grant allows for the extension of the firing range from 12 firing lanes to 15 firing lanes which meets International Biathlon Union (IBU) standards.

Three tonnes of materials were delivered to the shooting range including concrete sleepers, 15-foot poles and lengths of wood.

Communications Officer for Australian Biathlon Association Emma Flanagan said that the works carried out under the grants program would help increase the number of international events at Mount Hotham Biathlon Range.

“Part of our program is to increase the facilities with an aim of not only looking after our local people but also in the long-term to cater for international events,” Ms Flanagan said.

“We now have three extra lanes and we are just waiting for the final confirmation from Victorian Police and then we will hopefully be able to use it by July.”

Major underground drainage works are also being carried out at the Biathlon Range to redirect snowmelt and water away from the area. A bobcat, a large backhoe and a truck were used to shift the dirt.

“When snow comes, there is always a bit of snowmelt so we now have underground drainage to fix the problem.

“It has been a massive job. We had to take out ten trees, then we had to dig out some more earth to allow us to put the drains in.

 “We are on the side of the hill and water comes underground and pops up near the range, so we have tried to eliminate that problem,” she said.

One of the working bee projects was carried out by the Mann family.  Father Phil, who managed the project, along with family members Carol-Ann, Dominic, Elliot and Gordon, upgraded the Biathlon Race Hut, where they have replaced two panels on the side of the hut, and have replaced old insulation with new insulation.

Bob and Norma Cranage brought up three family generations to help. Their daughter Lynn-Maree and her husband Paul Cullen helped over the weekend with their children Jorja and Joshua.

“It was a real community event full of families,” Ms Flanagan said.

“There is about 180 members, many of them are mums and dads who run the place and a series of families who are core members who turn up and do everything.

“Next spring when the ground dries we will commence the second stage of the project which is to seal the track for roller skiing to also include disabled access,” she said.

01 May 2017