A lot of time and effort has gone into the Bailieston drop zone, which was officially opened on Saturday.CHALPAT SONTI March 13, 2014 10:02am
It’s been a long battle — thanks to a detour through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal — but Skydive Nagambie’s new facility promises to be a breath of fresh air for the sport.
The Don and Louise Cross owned company opened its new drop zone at Olivers Rd, Bailieston, on Saturday evening. And apart from some great skydiving displays — and a ribbon-cutting with a difference — it was a time to reflect on a journey began in 2000.
That was when Mr and Mrs Cross took over the company, which has been based at Kirwans Bridge and done well there. So why move?
‘‘That was a renovated farm which served its purpose and allowed us to grow,’’ Mr Cross said.
‘‘But we just couldn’t give our customers the quality of experience they required. Louise and I are keen sport skydivers ourselves and we just knew we had to provide something better.’’
And that they have, spending a ‘‘couple of million’’ on fitting out the new property, which is on 141
‘‘We’ve built our own airfield, and the whole facility is purpose built,’’ Mr Cross said.
That includes caravan parking, accommodation huts, a licensed bar and a canteen to come.
‘‘It’s only phase one. Upstairs we’re going to be building more offices.’’
The company employs six full-time staff and 26 subcontractors, pouring what Mr Cross estimated as ‘‘plenty’’ into nearby Nagambie’s economy.
It also offers a complete skydiving experience at the facility, unlike many operations which have pared back to purely doing tandem jumps.
And that was a point not lost on Australian Parachute Federation chief executive Brad Turner, who told the crowd at the opening that the sport was ‘‘desperate’’ for ‘‘full-on training centres’’.
‘‘The training facility that they’ve got allows for a great standard of training and instructor training. Also for our elite athletes, we have substantial funding (about $55
‘‘The funding that we want to put into teams and drive our teams to world championship medals — we need places like this. It also provides the atmosphere that keeps you guys coming back.’’
The opening was part of a three-day skydiving festival which saw jumpers from across Australia attend. But perhaps the most novel jump of all is pictured on this page. Why use a pair of scissors to cut the official opening ribbon when you can drop someone from a few thousand metres above to sail through it expertly .
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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