SIGHTED: Shooting enthusiasts like Megan Owen hope a proposed underground gun range will end their 25-year limbo.
SIGHTED: Shooting enthusiasts like Megan Owen hope a proposed underground gun range will end their 25-year limbo. Scott Kovacevic

Shooters pitch radical solution to gun range stalemate

FRUSTRATED by inaction on a Gympie gun range, Cooloola Range Complex Association president Ron Owen wants to dig in, proposing an underground complex which he said would be an Australian drawcard.

With questions around the future of a range in the state forest at Corella, Mr Owen has pitched the idea of an enclosed bunker-style facility near Sandy Creek Rd.

He said it would solve a few issues with Gympie Regional Council's current search for freehold land.

"They say they're going to spend $2 million getting rid of other people (resumption), well they own the land there," he said.

"People would come from all over Australia to test everything without any wind."

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It was an idea which had already proven popular in European countries.

"They haven't got the space we've got. They've been doing all of this stuff for years."

Mr Owen said the complex would only need to be dug 6m deep, as the dirt displaced would be more than enough to cover the structure's concrete and steel roof.

Neighbourhood noise would pose little problem as well.

 

Proposed areas for the underground shooting range.
Proposed areas for the underground shooting range. Contributed

"Right next to it you've got the highway coming... and then there's the railway line, and then there's the sale yard.

"They can't really complain," he said.

Most importantly it would bring an end to a 25-year saga which has left the region's shooters on hold.

"It's just not going anywhere.

"People go to Imbil and are there before 9am and have to wait until 4pm to get a shot.

"On Friday nights at the small bore club, there's sometimes 70 people there and they shoot in three details, 24 each time. It's bursting.

"If they don't do something they'll be moaning about road signs getting shot up because people have got nowhere else.

"If they don't want this then they'd better go on, pull the plug out and give us Corella."

Gympie Times


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