THE 12-year battle by Gympie gun clubs for a centrally located, regional shooting facility will move a step closer to resolution when Gympie Regional Council takes a deputation to National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Minister Steve Dickson soon, seeking "in-principle support" for the project.
Most likely to be established in the Curra State Forest, the facility will provide a permanent home for shooting clubs throughout Wide Bay and the Sunshine Coast and create a "world's best practice" range to cater for zone, inter-zone, state, national and Olympic qualifying events.
Numerous deputations and site plans have already been undertaken and the council has made attempts to acquire the land needed from the previous state government.
It was told, though, that to get a land swap it would have to hand over five times the amount of land it wanted or swap land with higher environmental significance, a demand described as "the greatest nonsense I have ever seen" by deputy Gympie mayor Tony Perrett this week.
A site plan with a total footprint of 100ha - a much-reduced proposal to the original 600ha sought - will be endorsed by the council after it consults with the Cooloola Range Complex Association, a conglomerate of the shooting clubs.
The council will also seek a meeting with Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps.