Council aims for own freehold shooting range
GYMPIE Regional Council may be aiming high, but councillors have now changed targets on a sports shooting facility first promised at least 20 years ago.
Councillors at their first general meeting for 2017 decided to pursue a new freehold option for the shooting range, which up to now has involved lobbying for the use of state government forestry land at Curra.
Councillors resolved to seek "continued in-principle support from the state government for the option of a consolidated shooting facility in the Curra State Forest until December 31, 2018."
The meeting authorised Mayor Mick Curran to make those representations to the state government.
But in a second recommendation, they backed Cr Curran's suggestion at a recent meeting of shooters that the council should also pursue a private property option, "in recognition of the barriers to securing suitable tenure in Curra State Forest."
They authorised staff to "pursue investigation of alternative freehold sites for the establishment of a consolidated shooting facility".
A staff report to the meeting said the council had "been involved for a significant number of years in investigations regarding the establishment of a consolidated shooting facility at the Curra State Forest, north of Gympie".
"The Cooloola Range Complex Association was established as the body representative of the interests of all shooting clubs and interest groups."
CRCA president and well known Gympie gun dealer and enthusiast Ron Owen was at the meeting for the decision.
Mr Owen hosted a meeting recently at his McMahon Rd shop at which Cr Curran floated the freehold land idea and indicated the council may be prepared to put $2 million into buying the land, which would remain a council asset.
Mr Owen later described the Mayor's suggestion as "ground breaking."
One Nation's Curra Shooting Range pledge
PAULINE Hanson's One Nation candidate for Gympie has pledged to expedite a lease on the proposed Curra State Forest shooting range site.
And she challenged Gympie region Mayor Mick Curran to redirect the $2 million he indicated the council might put towards purchase of freehold land for the facility.
"We'll get the land; he should spend the $2 million on facilities for the shooting range," she said.
Gympie state election candidate Chelle Dobson said a One Nation-led state government would carry out the pledge and she would personally press for it if elected to represent Gympie at the coming state poll.
She said the party would introduce a long-tenure lease at $1 a year.
"The intended purpose will be for the development of a multi-discipline international standard facility for the sport of shooting," Mrs Dobson said.
"Pauline Hanson's One Nation is backing the proposal because it has always been a feasible project.
"However, it has also been stagnant while the two major parties and Gympie Regional Council have continually used it as 'a promise'."
Since the Victory Range was closed in 1992 the shooters have endured 25 years of uncertainty and empty promises.
"Shooting is an Olympic sport, why not support them right here in Gympie?
"The facility will provide a boost to the Gympie community through the initial construction and ongoing associated service requirements.
"Pauline Hanson's One Nation is also currently reviewing its policy on gun laws.
"We no longer feel that saying the gun laws are adequate is accurate.
"A new policy will be released after consultation."