OFF TARGET: The Curra shooting range remains at a standstill.
OFF TARGET: The Curra shooting range remains at a standstill. Christopher Chan GLA081212SHOT

Perrett's ultimatum over shooting range

GYMPIE'S long promised multi-discipline shooting range, touted as a major sports tourism attraction, is still the subject of fine words.

But as has been the case for the past 25 years, there has been no action.

Under both Labor and LNP governments, ministers have expressed in principle support but, bureaucratic obstruction seems to have frustrated the plan.

And while both sides of state politics blame each other, a similar "buck stops somewhere else" seems to have occurred between the state government and Gympie Regional Council.

Now, Gympie MP Tony Perrett has given National Parks Minister Steven Miles 30 days to decide to either support or reject the proposed shooting facility at Curra State Forest.

Mr Perrett asked Dr Miles in parliament to commit to the transfer of the land for the facility.

"And if the Government won't commit I have asked the Minister to tell us why not," Mr Perrett said.

"Given that it has been almost three years since the previous LNP government gave its support it's entirely reasonable to know if this Government will commit to the land transfer," he said.

But a spokesman for Dr Miles said Mr Perrett was misleading the public.

"Dr Miles has expressed 'in principle' support, which is the same, no more no less, than the Member for Gympie secured from the LNP Government," he said.

"(Mr Perrett) is making claims that Dr Miles has added different conditions to this in principle support, but this is not the case.

"Mr Perrett should release all the Newman-Nicholls Government's documents regarding this shooting range and stop shooting off at the mouth," the spokesman said.

Mr Perrett said Gympie Regional Council had secured LNP support in February 2014 "on behalf of the Cooloola Range Complex Association to provide a long-term home for the many shooting clubs which operate in the Gympie region.

"(The) council agreed to prepare and finalise a feasibility study, completed in April last year. On January 6 this year the Minister wrote a letter of in-principle support to the Cooloola Range Complex Association. Two days earlier the Minister indicated that some further matters needed to be addressed.

 

"They included concerns (on) timber harvesting and apiary sites and questions about the level of support from established gun clubs, recreational user groups, and mountain- bikers.

"Since then a petition of almost 1000 petitioners was tabled in September asking the Government to excise land from the state forest or issue a lease to the council for the complex.

"In response to the petition the Minister has listed all the same matters for resolution," Mr Perrett said.

Gympie Times


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