CHANGES NEEDED: Ron Owen says the Gympie Regional Council could make billions of dollars on land.
CHANGES NEEDED: Ron Owen says the Gympie Regional Council could make billions of dollars on land. Tom Daunt

Billion-dollar council asset could pave this town

Letter to the editor by Ron Owen:

SORRY to be picky but Mr Harelle's letter of Saturday, June 3 had a typographical error of such massive proportions, so vast in meaning that I'm forced to write to correct it.

Twice he mentions $4,000,000. but the real figure is $4,000,000,000.

Yes, not four million dollars, four billion dollars.

That was explained in my previous letter relating to what Mayor Dyne (RIP) stated at a meeting with ex- Minister of the Environment, Steve Dickson at Parliament House, whilst discussing the Victory Range site.

1000 acres into maximum quarter-acre blocks, equals 4000 housing blocks equals minimum $100,000 per block. Times 4000 is $4,000,0000,000 (4 billion dollars).

So Mr Harelle and Mr Goddard are correct, there is enough profit for the council, (as it was given to them by the state for a peppercorn price, which would have been well paid for, as it has been logged twice since) to build a world- class Olympic-style shooting complex attracting competitive shooters from all over the world and for good use by the 28,000 local shooters.

Ron Owen from Owen's Guns in Gympie.
Ron Owen from Owen's Guns in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

The council would still have $3,950,000,000 in change to give the ratepayers in Gympie a rate holiday for 20 years.

In fact if they invested it very well, the interest could pay at an 11 per cent a year average, $434,500,000a year, that is well over five times the council's budget so, it could be rate free forever with excellent rural roads and an end to tip fees.

With all that extra income, the council could dig the channel from the 6 mile creek at Traveston, through to Lake Cootharaba to take away all Gympie's excess flood waters.

Gympie Council could utilise the massive clean black coal, oil and natural gas under Gympie, to sell us cheap motor fuel and cheap electricity, attracting business and jobs to our area.

However, the council might prefer not to disturb the surviving three current shooting clubs, shotgun, pistols and smallbore, as well as the large koala colony.

It could change the zoning back to community, allowing the clubs to fully expand their current facilities, including the proposal for the underground centrefire rifle range and again draw in thousands of world- class shooters and give a first- rate facility for the residents of Gympie close to town.

Gympie Regional Council cannot continue to be the famous fence sitter, "Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall”. Twenty-six years is too long to wait; the council "could have a great fall”.

Ron Owen,

Monkland

Another letter about council funding for a Gympie shooting range:

Rattler waste for shooters:

I HAVE been reading articles in this paper regarding the Mary Valley Heritage Railway.

There have been several articles concerning the council's bungles in evaluating the cost of the project.

I have read that it is about 10 million dollars over budget, but have heard that it is more like 22 million dollars over.

I don't know which figure is correct, but I do note that any of these blowout figures would have paid for the long stalled Curra Shooting Complex, even at the extortionate five for one land or monetary value exchange which the Forestry is demanding for the proposed site.

This makes the statement from the council in the The Gympie Times (Thursday June 21, page 4), that they didn't have $2 million available to purchase land for the Shooting Complex more than unsatisfactory.

Shooting Clays, Mark Brown Gympie
Shooting Clays, Mark Brown Gympie LEEROY TODD

Are the thousands of shooters in our region missing out because of incompetency from our local government? I certainly hope not.

Why isn't this project under way? After all, there have been 26 years to get it up and running.

The statement at the end of the council statement mentioned above, suggested that local shooters should lobby the State Government because they are the ones who resumed the land.

But this is a furphy, designed to deflect criticism. State and Local governments have close ties and Local governments are to represent the needs of their constituents.

They have the resources and contacts to push for developments which will improve our region.

The Shooting Complex will do that, as it will attract many outside shooters to use the facility, and they all need to eat, buy fuel and sleep.

Many may even do some sight- seeing and shopping. The council has spent $40,000 on a cost benefit analysis which backs up the benefits to the local economy.

I hope the council will push for this project and help the thousands of their long-suffering constituents get what they should have had more than two decades ago.

Daryl Brenton,

Kilkivan