Gympie Regional Council has dropped the axe on the long-awaited regional shooting range due to
Gympie Regional Council has dropped the axe on the long-awaited regional shooting range due to "significant high costs”. Pexels

SHOCK: Axe falls on 20-year plan for major Gympie sport hub

GYMPIE gun club hopes for a regional shooting gallery have been shot down by Gympie Regional Council for being too expensive.

And it is not the just the long-awaited Curra state forest site which has been shelved.

In a report to be voted on this Wednesday, staff recommend the council "not pursue" a regional shooting facility on either State or freehold land.

They cite money as the main hurdle, with the Curra site expected to cost more than $10 million for the land alone.


Shooting Clays, Ron Owen Gympie
Ron Owen at one of Gympie's shooting clubs. LEEROY TODD

"Gympie Regional Council is not considered to be in a current financial position to be able to undertake a commitment that could conservatively be estimated at $10 million-plus for the establishment of a shooting facility in Curra State Forest," the report says.


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The freehold option would cost $2 million in land alone, with extra on top for infrastructure and approvals.

These costs "could not reasonably be borne by either ratepayers or the shooting clubs located within this region".

The fight for a Curra state forest shooting facility has continued for almost 20 years.


The Gympie Sporting Clays club hosted 40 of the state's most deadeye shooters for a State Selection Shoot at the Sexton grounds last Sunday.
The council says existing facilities are enough to service the region. Contributed

It has been touted by former councillors and shooting enthusiasts as a major tourism project, and in 2014, then-mayor Ron Dyne said he hoped the range would be open within "the next five years or so".

However, council staff said the State Government was unwilling to waive purchase costs or environmental offsets for the land, and never offered any financial support.

And, staff said, the council had never promised to deliver funding either.

"Council has only ever previously committed to facilitating investigations into a consolidated shooting facility, and has at no point made any commitment to funding the establishment of the facility itself.


A shot is fired at the Clay Target Shooting Range, Gladstone.
Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer
Shooting range. Luka Kauzlaric

"The project is not identified as a priority within the council's Corporate Plan, nor is it a priority as set out in the council's endorsed Open Space and Recreation Plan."

The report rules out any future pursuit of a new regional level facility too, and local would be the new focus.

"...whilst the Gympie region is ideally located between south east Queensland and the Wide Bay Burnett, facilities already exist to cater for the needs of shooters outside the Gympie region."

The region's existing sites could be home to "district level" needs with "better management".

It proposes a master plan for Victory Heights to support existing recreational uses including shooting.

The council says it will monitor the ranges on a "two-year cycle" to ensure they comply with noise regulations and investigate noise reduction measures to minimise its impact.