THE Sydney Olympic rings aren’t going anywhere for now… after hitting a $3 million hurdle.
That’s how much new owner Michael Travers was quoted to have the rings from the 2000 Games erected at the Homebush Olympic Precinct.
For now, the rings, which measure 70m by 40m and divided in some 40 sections, and weigh more than 30 tons, will be stored in a heaving engineering yard in North Goulburn.
It took six men in two trucks five hours to relocate the rings that had been stored at the former Kermac Engineering site - much quicker than the two days that Mr Travers had anticipated.
The rings will now live in the yard across the road from the shed they called home for the past 14 years until Mr Travers is able to negotiate a new location for them. It’s not the first time the Rings have spent time in that yard - they were sandblasted and painted there before their erection on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Mr Travers had a meeting with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA), who gave him the bad news.
“They (SOPA) told us they’d looked at it two or three years ago, when CEO Alan Marsh came down and had a look at the rings,” Mr Travers said.
“He and John Coates had got very excited about putting them up somewhere at Homebush, but there were a few issues with dollars, soil and a place to put them which doesn’t contravene IOC regulations.
“This means they can’t be within sight of a commercial logo.”
And this is where the problem lies. Since the Olympics in 2000, the Homebush precinct has developed into a mini-commercial and residential hub. Corporate logos adorn most of the buildings within the complex, ruling out several several prime locations around the former home of the Olympics.
What land is suitable has, in the old language, got about two and a half feet of clay and topsoil, with reclaimed swamp lying underneath.
Preliminary talks with SOPA revealed that any foundations for the rings would be required to go down up to 35 metres,
Once they were concreted in, the rings would have to be wind-proofed. All up, total estimates for the job are pushing $3 million.
Mr Travers isn’t perturbed by the setback.
“We’re going to keep talking to people in Government. We’ve been in contact with local member Angus Taylor, and we want to thank him for putting us in touch with Sports Minister Stuart Ayres,” he said.
“We’re now waiting to hear from his office for the next round of talks, which will happen hopefully within weeks.
“Ultimately, we want to see them erected where they rightfully belong, which is the Homebush Olympic Precinct. While this is not without its issues, there are many ways to skin a cat.”
The move to the yard, now owned by Mine Main, across from Kermac was part of the deal struck between Mr Travers and now owner of the former engineering company’s shed, Bernard Maas.