A multimillion-dollar development proposed for Wagga’s Tasman Road Shooting Grounds would be a major win for the city as well as a boon for the sport of clay target shooting, according to Tony Turner.
The national executive officer of the Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) is waiting in hopeful anticipation for positive news on a state government grant to fund a new national clubhouse and offices at their national ground in Wagga.
The site is already home to numerous annual national shooting events and has been granted hosting rights to the 2018 World DTL (Down The Line) Championships.
Wagga is also bidding to host shooting events at the 2018 Invictus Games.
Turner says it adds to the case for the $6.5 million dollar project, which will have benefits beyond the sport.
“It’s going to be fairly substantial,” Turner said.
“From a conference point of view, we should be able to seat around 800 to 1000 people. It’s going to be multi-purpose and we’re looking at having it available for other interests as well.
“It’s our national ground but we’ll see it as a chance to branch out in to conferences and functions. There’s nothing of that size in Wagga.”
Close to two million dollars has already been committed from within the organisation. If the state government funding application is successful, the ACTA hopes to have the new buildings finished by the end of 2017.
“We’ve got a world class facility as far as our shooting goes, so we’re hoping to have the facility (offices and function centre) to go with it,” Turner said.
From a strictly sporting point of view, Turner said the prospect of major investment and more events will only help grow the sport of clay target shooting.
“We’re looking at developing this into a precinct,” he said, pointing out that the organisation owns the land.
“We’ve got a lot of things we think we can incorporate and develop. If we get what we’re looking for, we’re looking at an academy program.
“We already have one that we run with kids in their own towns but if we get this it could help us take it to the next level. We’re dealing with athletes right from grassroots up to international level.”
Wagga hosts most major ACTA events apart from the Olympic discipline events run by the International Shooting Sport Federation.