An update on Stromlo Forest Park from user group organisations
We are writing to you following the media and interest generated in Stromlo Forest Park by the petition and questions asked in the Legislative Assembly over the last week or two.
We would like to update everyone in the Canberra cycling & sports community about the significant progress we have made in the last 12 months or so to have a direct input into planning for the Park.
Late last year Darren Stewart VP of CORC started talking to ACT cycling groups, Rob de Castella, Stephen Hodge and others about how to establish a dialogue between the key stakeholder user groups for Stromlo Forest Park (SFP) and the ACT Government. This was strongly supported.
We came together following concerns that in the decade since SFP opened the original strategic focus to build the major national centre for cycling and running had diminished and there had been a lack of any significant development in the last six to eight years; meaning that Canberra risked losing what has been and should continue to be the pre-eminent facility of its type in the country.
Another big driver for the group was the work that road cycling has done under Peter Rogers to secure a viable future for its racing in the ACT. This has become a huge issue as costs to control roads became prohibitive and access to road venues for racing has progressively been lost.
All of us are committed to working together to ensure that the Government’s planning, development and initiatives for SFP are implemented in a strategic manner that provides real access and opportunities for our sports and recreation to continue to grow and thrive.
Who is involved in SSR?
The group – informally called Stromlo Sports and Recreation (SSR) – represents significant expertise that can assist the Government realise the facility’s potential to be a world-class venue and comprises: ACT Cycling, Canberra Off Road Cyclists, Pedal Power ACT, Physical Activity Foundation, YMCA Canberra Running Club, Triathlon ACT, Anthony Burton and Associates, We Ride Australia (Stephen Hodge), Rob de Castella, Anna Gurnhill Consulting.
Direct input to the SFP Masterplan
Our approach was very positively received by the Chief Minister in a meeting in June between SSR and other key Ministers and senior officials in the Government and he gave the green light to the formation of a formal representative advisory group for SFP – Stromlo Stakeholder Consultative Committee (SSCC). We would like to note that Venues Canberra has been a strong supporter of our efforts throughout this process. With Sport & Rec they are fully engaged with us to secure better outcomes for SFP.
With SSR members, the Committee includes ACT Government representatives from Venues ACT and Sport and Recreation, ACT Property Group, the Active Travel Office and ACT Equestrian Association.
Current situation and next steps
We hope you agree that our combined approach and the new stakeholder reference group provide a great way for us to contribute to the best outcomes for the Park, to the future planning process and for all our cycling activities.
We are advised by ACT Sport & Rec that:
“The 2016 Stromlo Forest Park Master plan does show a section of the Stromlo Forest Park Criterium Track impacted to allow for consideration of proposed new district playing fields. However, the ACT Government recognises the importance of the length and design of the criterium cycling circuit to the cycling community and can confirm it will not be affected by the delivery of the Stromlo Forest Park District Playing Fields.
The new district playing field is currently going through the design phase and there is no proposed impact on the criterium track.”
The next meeting with the SFP Consultative Committee is scheduled for Thursday 21 November and our SSR group will meet ahead of that to discuss what we believe the strategic needs are for development and infrastructure at Stromlo.
This discussion also feeds directly into the invitation from Sport & Rec for Cycling ACT to submit a proposal for future cycling infrastructure to the ACT Government.
We invite any members who wish to discuss this further to contact any one of the heads of their respective organisation who are all closely involved in this work.
the Stromlo Sports and Recreation user group
Peter Rogers Matt Battye Craig Johns Ian Ross
Cycling ACT CORC Triathlon ACT Pedal Power ACT
Robert de Castella Peter Thomson Lucille Baillie
Stromlo Running Festival YMCA of Canberra Runners Club PAF
Indigenous Marathon Foundation
Anna Gurnhill Stephen Hodge Dr Anthony Burton
Anna Gurnhill Consulting We Ride Australia Anthony Burton & Assoc.
Contact – Matt Battye, President, Canberra Off-Road Cyclists