Council sets sights on range complex

A REGIONAL shooting facility that could help replace the Belmont shooting complex as a major hub for sporting shooters and archers in south-east Queensland will be established in bushland near Corella if Gympie Regional Council has its way.

The council is intensifying its push to develop the facility in the "next five years or so" and has made a series of deputations to state ministers and shadow ministers in an effort to secure about 60 acres (24ha) of land in the Curra State Forest.

A joint deputation with Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbott was made to Environment and Resource Management Minister Vicky Darling in October last year followed by a deputation Liberal National Party shadow ministers Andrew Powell (environment), Jack Dempsey (resource management) and Gympie MP David Gibson (sport) in December, 2011, by councillors Ian Petersen, Larry Friske and Jan Watt.

Gympie mayor Ron Dyne said the Belmont shooting complex near Brisbane is home to a range of pistol, rifle, clay shooting and archery clubs which will be looking for a new regional facility once Belmont is closed down after the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The Curra State Forest would be an excellent location for such noisy sports, Cr Dyne said.

"We would like to see this occur in the next five years or so," he said.

A report on the push from the council's strategic planning officer last week said:

"Council is in the process of developing a consolidated open space and recreation plan for the Gympie region.

"As part of this process the plan has identified the need for council to continue advocating to the State Government the need for land at Curra State Forest or other suitable land in the region to accommodate development of a shooting facility."

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