Gympie shooting range faces $10 million hurdle
THE long-awaited Gympie shooting range at Curra faces a $10 million hurdle to get started unless an alternative site can be found, Gympie Regional Council has said.
On the table for 25-years already the range could still be built in the in the Curra State Forest, although it is a choice which Mayor Mick Curran said will not come cheap.
"The option to go to the Curra forestry is still on the table from the state, but obviously the costs of offsets won't be kind,” Cr Curran said.
To place it on the state-owned land would cost $10 million, and that was well ahead of any actual use on the site.
"That's before the facility even gets a go ahead, before there's any (timber) clearing, before the range constructions, before facilities are put in place, and before road construction going on,” he said.
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It was a price which was driving the council to explore freehold options in the wider Gympie and Sunshine Coast regions.
"Freehold would be the better option.
"It would then be a community held asset,” Cr Curran said.
If freehold land was found, then he said the next step would be for the appropriate state approvals for the range to be secured.
But this was not as easy as looking at a map and pointing to a spot to build.
Any suitable piece of land would need to be within reach of economic centres, he said, so the region would get the full benefit of the development.
There was also the problem of noise.
"It's like motorbikes, it's got to be in the right location.
"I can understand the frustration of the people tied up with the shooting organisation, but with the current state government there won't be a change on that (position).”
The Curra Forest shooting range was part of the platforms of One Nation and the LNP at last year's last state election.