Australia Olympic Games Pistol & Shotgun Nomination Trials
Australia Olympic Games Pistol & Shotgun Nomination Trials

2032 Olympic bid could solve one of Gympie’s biggest issues

For almost 30 years the region's shooting enthusiasts have watched council and state leaders continue to fire blanks on a proposed state-of-the-art regional range.

Cost and location have long been the biggest problems raised as to why the project never went anywhere, but it appears a solution could be on the horizon.

Queensland's fight to host the 2032 Olympic Games was once viewed as a shot in the dark; now we're celebrating Yosemite Sam-style thanks to the southeast being declared the "preferred partner" for the big event.

This could be the perfect storm.

It's no secret if successful the State Government will be throwing around a lot of cash, Gympie happens to be an hour and 45 minutes up the road from the capital, and a lot of people here apparently like shooting.

 

According to Ron Owen - who I've a hunch may know a thing or two about firearms - 18,000 shooters are licensed in this region alone.

But it turns out Gympie is far from unique in this.

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There were 390 competitive shooters from 97 countries in shooting events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The big guns were China (22 athletes), America (20) and Russia (19) - which makes sense given you've got here a country with 1.4 billion-strong talent pool, another where the young are taught to shoot from conception, and one with a place called Siberia where you can fire away without fear of hitting anything other than political prisoners.

Fourth highest on that list?

Australia.

That's right; the country with some of the world's strictest gun laws sent 18 shooters to compete on the world's greatest stage.

Ron Owen has been pushing for new shooting range for almost 30 years.
Ron Owen has been pushing for new shooting range for almost 30 years.

Makes you wonder how big the talent pool was they were pulled from, right? There's got to be a lot of people at a lot of shooting clubs.

Then there's the question of how many of those potential future Australian representatives are living in the region right now?

Perhaps the question then is - do we prefer them to stay here and chase their dreams, or leave them with little option but to move?

And we haven't even tackled the economic potential of having a world-class training facility on our doorstep.

This could be the goose ready to lay the perfect golden egg - a chance to build a state-of-the-art shooting range somewhere in the region on the back a State Government spending splurge.

It would be stupid if the only shot our leaders ultimately take at this goose is the one that kills it.