In responding to a letter from shooting advocate Ron Owen, the council reiterated that it had no plans to sell the land accommodating existing shooting clubs at Victory Heights, nor did it have any
In responding to a letter from shooting advocate Ron Owen, the council reiterated that it had no plans to sell the land accommodating existing shooting clubs at Victory Heights, nor did it have any "endorsed” budget to buy land for a new range complex site.

Council puts kybosh on proposed underground shooting range

AN UNDERGROUND shooting range at Victory was unlikely to meet the needs of the region's sporting shooters, Gympie Regional Council said yesterday.

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In responding to a letter from shooting advocate Ron Owen, the council reiterated that it had no plans to sell the land accommodating existing shooting clubs at Victory Heights, nor did it have any "endorsed” budget to buy land for a new range complex site.

"Council are (sic) investigating sites that would accommodate a broad range of shooting uses,” a spokesman said yesterday.

"In the absence of a detailed proposal for an underground site at Victory, no determination can be made at this time, however it is unlikely to be capable of accommodating all clubs.”

Investigations into potential sites was ongoing, the spokesman said.

Shooting Clays, Ron Owen Gympie
Shooting clays, Ron Owen of Gympie LEEROY TODD

A final report is expected to be put to the council at the end of the year.

In 2015, the council undertook a feasibility study and options analysis of land for a shooting range in the Curra State Forest.

The study can be accessed online here.

The study considered the activities of local clubs, such as the Gympie Clay Target and Small Rifle clubs, as well as the site's suitability concerning local and state planning schemes.

CONTENTIOUS: A post-Port Arthur massacre story in The Gympie Times outlined local gun owner Ron Owen's opposition to proposed firearm bans nationwide.
CONTENTIOUS: A post-Port Arthur massacre story in The Gympie Times outlined local gun owner Ron Owen's opposition to proposed firearm bans nationwide. Contributed

It indicated "significant financial implications for the council (in relation to State Government offset provisions and extinguishment of Native Title)”

In January 2017, the council started looking at private land options.

"Other factors being considered include land ownership, physical constraints, access, and potential off-site impacts. Council's preference would be a site with minimal environmental impacts.”

The council said it should be remembered the rifle range was removed by the state government, not the council, and interested parties should lobby the State Government regarding the issue.

Gympie Regional Council bring down their first budget under Mayor Mick Curran.   Mayor Mick Curran addressing council.    Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Mick Curran. Greg Miller