Ron Owen of Owens Guns.
Ron Owen of Owens Guns. Renee Albrecht

'Deafening silence': Council quiet on shooting range map

A letter to the editor by Ron Owen:

IN THE Gympie Times article, "Underground Shooting Range Unlikely” (Thursday, June 21), an un-named spokesman from the Gympie Regional Council said: "The Council reiterated that it had no plans to sell the land accommodating the existing shooting clubs.”

The Gympie Times now has a map from the Council Planning Department showing the Victory Range site as marked down for residential housing (pictured).

Council Planning Scheme 2013 showing the Victory Range site as marked down for residential housing.
Council Planning Scheme 2013 showing the Victory Range site as marked down for residential housing. Contributed

In my letter to the editor on June 23, I stated that the council "spokesman's” quote was either blatant misinformation or total ignorance, and also pointed out that the council 'spokesman' omitted to mentioned this Planning Map left the front section of the Victory Range site, near the Victory Shop, as 'Rural'.

Makes no provision for the shooting club that have been shooting on that site for 100 years.

For four weeks we have had a deafening silence from the council, neither my letter nor the council planning map have been refuted, or corrected.

This silence leaves us with the conclusion that the lights are on but no one is at home; they keep charging us rates and taxes, but all outward signs of life are extinct.

We ratepayers/voters are only fit to be misinformed.

The council could well learn from the old Druid wisdom of our Celtic ancestors, which is passed on from generation to generation, that golden rule is that: "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

Shooting Clays, Ron Owen Gympie
Ron Owen shooting clays in Gympie. LEEROY TODD

However, the Gympie Regional Council takes the typical public service training strategies called, "Riding the ratepayers' dead horse”:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the dead horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course....

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Brian Cooper at the shooting range Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Brian Cooper at the shooting range. Renee Pilcher

The Gympie Council, like a metronome, says: "Wait another year for another report.”

If we had a council with integrity they would stand down, go home, and leave us alone - we don't need them for anything anyway.

Clean-a-way can bill us direct for the bins, we will collect our own rainwater and fix our own roads, we do most of that anyway.

The council is just a hindrance. You might have to pay to use a private library and buy a septic tank toilet, if you don't have one already, but we could put the thousands of dollars of rate bills to a far better use.

What's more, we will be free of them.

Ron Owen,

Gympie