Commencing this Tuesday, February 18, Carnegie Caulfield's Twilight Criteriums
will relocate to the Sandown Racecourse. Entry is via Gate 15, Sandown Rd (off
Springvale Rd) from 5.30pm, with racing for all grades starting at 6.30pm.
The Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club apologises for the short notice, but the
change of venue was considered necessary to avoid further anxiety to a small
number of people who felt recreational uses of the Springvale Necropolis were
inappropriate. The Trustees and management of the Necropolis at all times remained
supportive of our use of the facility.
Carnegie Caulfield also issued the following media statement regarding the
venue change and the previous use of the necropolis:
Bike Racing at the Springvale Necropolis
Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club Statement to the Media
The Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club has decided to cancel the remaining twilight
races at the Springvale Necropolis. Acting out of genuine concern for the
anxiety expressed by some whose loved ones are memorialised in the grounds,
the Club apologises for any anxiety caused, and has no wish to cause further
Appreciation of the sensitivity around using the Necropolis for recreation.
Participating cyclists and officials over the past few months appreciated
and respected the sensitivity of the Necropolis to all those who have family
and friends buried there, and conducted themselves accordingly. The vast majority
of the participants had family and friends buried there, and some regularly
arrived before racing commenced to visit their graves. All cyclists established
a strong appreciation for the beautiful and peaceful surrounds and valued
the opportunity to reflect on the past lives of their loved ones more frequently
than they might have otherwise. We intended no harm or disrespect and implemented
a strict code of conduct through pre-race briefings combined with supervision
by Club officials to ensure there was no breach. Although many people were
initially surprised we would be racing there, no one who visited the grounds
during our time there found our presence or behaviour inappropriate.
Background to Racing at the Necropolis
After the earlier than expected closure in April 2002 of AFL Park, Waverley,
our summer cycling venue for over 20 years, our club along with other cycling
clubs in Melbourne's South East, worked closely with the State Government
Department of Sport and Recreation Victoria and most councils in the area
to find alternative venues. Our sport requires traffic free road circuits
between 1 and 2km in length. Many options were investigated but none were
suitable or available for midweek evening racing during the daylight savings
period. The club continues to work with these organisations to find a long
term venue for our summer racing.
Approximately 1 month before racing was due to start on 29/10/02 the Springvale
Necropolis was suggested as a suitable venue. Negotiations progressed with
an approval from Department of Human Services and an acknowledging letter
from Sport and Recreation Victoria and one from the City of Greater Dandenong.
The Necropolis Board of Management approved our club's use of the Necropolis
after being satisfied that our racing would have no physical impact on the
grounds. The club signed an agreement with the Necropolis to formalise the
conditions of use.
Bike Racing Arrangements
The Necropolis closes to the public at 6pm each evening. Racing started at
6.30pm, lasted about an hour and all participants were out of the grounds
by 8.30pm. Two adjoining bitumen circuits off the Police Road entrance were
used simultaneously for 5 levels of ability, accommodating 100 - 150 cyclists
in total on Tuesday evenings. Cyclists aged 10 to 70 from most metropolitan
Clubs regularly took part in these races, together with visiting riders from
the country areas of Victoria, interstate and overseas. The cyclists were
briefed on the rules and regulations and code of conduct before each start.
They were restricted to the designated public roadways only and were not allowed
into the gardens, except at the control point shelter where entries were taken,
drinks provided and toilets were available. Cars were only allowed to park
along the access road and none allowed past the control point. No public address
systems were used, or banners erected, in keeping with the tranquil nature
of the surroundings.
Our sport is achieving significant success at the international level and
we seek to win public support and appreciation for these achievements. Our
sportsmen and women need suitable facilities for training and racing and we
are working very effectively with State Government and local councils to improve
the current lack of road racing facilities. The Premier, Steve Bracks, pledged
$500,000 in the last State Election towards a new road racing facility in
the South Eastern suburbs, for which we are extremely grateful, and a project
is underway with the Department of Sport and Recreation to assess the options
and to develop the preferred option. Six weeks remain before the traditional
end of our twilight races. The Club hopes to find a suitable temporary venue
in the short term, but sincerely hopes a long term home can be arranged before
the start of the 2003/2004 Summer season in November. Should any member of
the public wish to discuss unresolved concerns they are welcome to contact
the club President, Mike Clarke on 0413 610 514, or the club Secretary, Malcolm
Sawford on 0409 541 136.