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Newsletter Issue 1 May 2000

Colonial Stadium opens its doors and roof

As an integral part of the major Docklands re-development, the new Colonial Stadium adds an impressive sports and entertainment facility to the area close to the city centre.

Already, the stadium has hosted large crowds attending famous name concerts and Australian football games. The latter played for the first time under a closed roof.

At a cost of $460 million, the expectation of something special is met immediately. Its location is breath-taking with the waters of Port Phillip in the foreground and the cityscape as a backdrop. Colonial Stadium has comfortable seating for 52,000 and a laser guided closable roof.

Even the seats move. In just a few hours 12,000 seats slide forward to create a soccer or rugby field which will provide a spectacular setting for the Rugby 7’s finals in 2006. Just as easily, it can become a concert venue.

The playing field has been laid with 19,000 square metres of a unique high tech turf that is both tough and cushioned to give welcome relief from the impact of hard action sports.

It is even more comfortable in the stands with a multitude of food, drink and dining facilities as well as superb corporate entertainment suites.

Best of all, the view of the action is truly intimate with seating positioned as near as possible to the playing field.

In 2006, Colonial Stadium will create an experience not to be missed.

From the Chairman’s desk

Welcome to the first issue of 2006 Newsline, the newsletter of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. This bulletin will be produced initially on a biannual basis to keep you up to date with our planning and preparation for 2006.

Firstly, let me express our sincere thanks to the Commonwealth Games family for having the confidence to award the 2006 Games to Melbourne. You would be aware that during the bid process we worked very hard and set very high standards in everything we did. We intend to maintain those standards during the planning and preparation stage and, of course, for the event itself.

We shall be endeavouring wherever possible to improve on commitments made as part of our bid, particularly in the areas of athlete welfare, facilities etc. Our stated aim remains in place – to stage a new benchmark Commonwealth Games.

We understand clearly the need to allow Manchester the “front running” up to 2002 to build on the wonderful achievements of Kuala Lumpur in 1998. We will do whatever we can to assist Manchester in their preparations.

The Organising Committee is already in place. I am pleased to announce that Leighton Wood has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and that Premier Bracks has asked me to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Organising Committee.

We anticipate working very closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s nominees, Messrs Mike Fennell and John Tierney. I look forward immensely to the future and wish you all well until we next meet.

Ronald J. Walker AO CBE

Message from the Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Steve Bracks MP

My government is very proud that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded the 18th Commonwealth Games in 2006 to Melbourne and Victoria.

The Victorian Parliamentary Labor Party, whilst in Opposition, totally supported the efforts of the former Government and the Bidding Committee to secure the Games.

Since our election to Government last year, we have continued to provide our absolute support for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and are committed to staging a benchmark Games on every measure, but particularly in the warmth of the welcome extended to all members of the Commonwealth Games Family.

The Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Justin Madden MLC and I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Mr Mike Fennell, Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation in Melbourne following the first meeting of the Board. We are looking forward to meeting many more members of the Commonwealth Games Family between now and 2006.

We thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for the confidence they have expressed in Melbourne and Victoria. Please rest assured that we are working very hard to present an outstanding Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Steve Bracks MP

Sporting champion takes up ministerial position

One of the best known and most widely respected football players of the past 20 years has been appointed Minister for Sport.

Justin Madden played Australian Football for a total of 19 years and enjoyed many on-field successes including 4 appearances in Grand Finals and the winner of his club’s Best and Fairest Award on two occasions.

Off the field Justin’s success has been just as notable. He was president of the Australian Football League Players Association from 1990 to 1997 during which time membership increased by 99% and major new agreements were reached on the employment rights of players.

Justin brings unique sporting and organisational skills to his new role as Minister for Sport.

The Board

Ronald J. Walker AO CBE


Ron is a prominent businessman well known for his passion for sport. He was founder and chairman of one of Australia’s largest private chemical companies. For his community efforts he was awarded the honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and an Officer of the Order for Australia (AO).

Salvatore (Sam) Coffa AM JP

Deputy Chairman

As a former weightlifting champion and Mayor of Hawthorn, Sam has used his wide expertise to advance the interest of sport in Australia. He has served on the weightlifting juries at both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Currently, Sam is President of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.

Perry Crosswhite

Perry is one of Australia’s most experienced sports administrators. He has been involved in every aspect of sport from his participation in the Olympics in basketball on three occasions to his contribution in establishing the Australian Institute of Sport. Today Perry is CEO of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.

Michael S.Fennell C.D.

Michael has held a number of senior management positions including President of Air Jamaica and Managing Director of Berger Paints. His deep involvement with sport includes responsibilities with both Olympic and Commonwealth Games organisations. Since 1994, Michael has been Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

John Tierney B Comm. ACA

John is a Chartered Accountant and businessman with extensive experience in New Zealand and the South Pacific region. He is a sports administrator holding positions on the National Olympic Committee in the Cook Islands. As Regional Vice President for Oceania, John is a member of the Executive Board of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Donald R. Argus AO

As Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Don oversaw the growth of the National Australia Bank into Australia’s largest bank. He has extensive experience of strategic development and risk management. Since July 1999, Don has been Chairman of BHP.

Alison Lansley

Alison is a Partner in the Melbourne office of Mallesons Stephen Jaques where she specialises in advising large corporations and government instrumentalities. She regularly presents lectures on topics such as takeovers, prospectuses and director’s duties.

Frank King

As a principal of F.J and J.M King and Associates, Frank specialises in providing policy and strategic advice to corporates doing business with the public sector. Frank has held a wide variety of positions with the Victorian Government and has acted as a UN adviser overseas.

Gregory R Hyams *

Greg has held an extensive range of positions in Federal and State Public Services since 1974 and served on the Finance Committee of Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Bid Pty Ltd. Currently he is a senior public servant in the Victorian State Government's Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Don Stockins OAM *

Don has been associated with the administration of sport for many years, alongside his full time position within the Government of Western Australia. He is Vice President of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and since 1995 has been President of the WA division.

* Appointments to be confirmed, May 2000


Leighton Wood B.App. Sc. (PE), MBA

Chief Executive Officer

A Physical Education graduate who has been involved heavily in multi-sport venue management, elite athlete training and sports management consulting. Former CEO of Melbourne Major Events Company and Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Bid Pty Ltd. Contributes to the event a high level of understanding of sport, events and business.

Greg Spierings B.Bus (Acc), CA

Chief Financial Officer

Early career with Coopers & Lybrand before a period with the brewer Tooheys followed by several years with Australia’s second largest home builder, Henley Properties. Strong financial planning skills specific to a project management environment.

Larry Sengstock B.App.Sc. (PE), Dip. Ed

Manager, Sport & Operations

Four times basketball Olympian and Captain of his country. Marketing Manager of North Melbourne Giants prior to his role as Operations Manager for Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Bid. Extensive knowledge of the people and structures within Australian sport.

Multi Purpose Venue nears completion

In its Velodrome configuration, Melbourne’s new Multi Purpose Venue will be the site of the Commonwealth Games track cycle racing. This state of the art facility is located adjacent to Melbourne Park and the famous MCG and will help form what will be our 2006 Games Sports and Entertainment hub.

The Velodrome will feature a premier 250 metre Siberian Pine indoor track with seating for 5000. A quality dining area will hold 900 guests and offer views of the arena. The scoreboard plus timing and sound systems will be the most advanced technology available in the world.

Besides cycling, the venue can be configured as a 10,000 seat arena for tennis, basketball, gymnastics and entertainment events. Its opening roof and retractable seating provide a new level of adaptability. The Multi Purpose Venue will be opened mid 2000.

New State Netball and Hockey Centre

This year the finishing touches will be applied to this new centre located in Royal Park, 3km from the city centre.

The aim is to provide the best of everything for followers of netball and hockey.

The complex will include 5 indoor netball courts, 4 outdoor courts and a show court with seating for 3000.

The venue will include two international standard wet pitches with permanent undercover seating for 1000 spectators. For major events this seating capacity can be increased to 8000 through the use of temporary stands.

Both groups will be able to take advantage of centrally planned shops, cafes, a bistro and bar.

Childcare and ample parking is being provided.

World beating time saver

With the completion of CityLink, Melbourne is home to an advanced road system which will significantly reduce travelling time for athletes and officials in 2006. A new addition to the city skyline is the impressive Bolte Bridge which carries the roadway over the Docklands area of Melbourne on its way to link up with the existing South-East Freeway.

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