As one of the organisers of the 2006-07 Australian Open, I for one, am not surprised by the state of affairs. But more importantly, neither should the ACF be, based on the circumstances of the Australian Open bid. And here's why.
The ACF generally will only accept bids from State Chess Associations. They even have a roster of states who have first refusal on a tournament, although this has rarely been followed in practice. There was an expectation that the ACT Chess Association would put in a bid for the 2006-7 Australian Open, an expectation heightened by the fact that the ACT Junior Chess League was going to bid for the 2007 Australian Junior. The ACTJCL even invited the ACTCA President along to their meetings where the bid was discussed in the hope of organising a
The deadline for Australian Open bids was the 31st October 2005, and I suspect there was a belief in the ACF that the ACTCA would come through at the last minute. Certainly there did not appear to be any effort from the ACF to solicit bids from other sources. However on the 31st October 2005 I received a phone call from Jey Hoole, who was both the Secretary of the ACTCA, and of the ACF. He informed me at a hastily convened ACTCA meeting earlier that evening, they had decided that "they were incapable of organising such an event", and decided that the only people who could do it were myself or Stephen Mugford.
After much begging from Jey, and much invective from me concerning the adequacy of both the ACTCA and the ACF, I said I would talk to Stephen and consider it.
Now there is more to the story than just that, but I can tell that another time. Instead I would simply point out that the ACF has been struggling for a while to attract event organisers and that more than anything State Associations (and not just the ACTCA) have been failing them. And to add a wry observation from Stephen Mugford ...
"Hope is not a method"