Shooting range solution could lie with Gympie region farmers
Letter to the Editor
30-year-old shooting range sage continues
AGAIN this week the 30-year-old saga of a shooting range for Gympie has hit the news, this time apparently it's cyclists to blame, for "putting in claims on almost every area of accessible wild country around Gympie region”.
Cyclists and shooters, two lobby groups which somehow seem to have more influence on social policy than their numbers reflect. One wonders why but it is how it is.
While the inability to secure land for a shooting range over such a long period can be, and has been, blamed on virtually everybody but those who have lobbied unsuccessfully for it such lack of success must surely raise questions about the effectiveness of both councils and MPs, past and present.
Once again it is how it is and the will to change around here being so lacking it's likely to continue to be so.
So here's my idea, although as usual probably too radical to be considered by those crying for a fair go but rarely considering if they actually get one and who may benefit from considering deeper how funding given is spent.
We hear constantly of how tough life is on the land. It's not uncommon to hear the words asset rich, cash poor or to hear of the need for off farm income.
Seeing as calls for relaxed gun controls are often supported by farming lobby groups and individuals as well as MPs who reckon they support farmers, isn't there some farmer out there who could offer up some of the land which seemingly is too hard to make a farming dollar from for a shooting range?
If such be by a private/public partnership, as some politicians seem keen on, or a stand alone private concern if the claims of the shooting lobby are correct and a new range is both so needed and destined to attract great numbers, if done properly, it could be a good little earner.
I guess the alternative is that the benefits and need are overstated and perhaps the lack of meaningful action over such a long period is because the sums just don't add up.
Thirty years of inaction on a shooting range has now added another element of difficulty for those who like to shoot.
Obviously, shooters and cyclists can't co-exist on shared ground and personally I'll support anything to keep as many cyclists as possible off the roads where they're often an inconsiderate nuisance.
Once again it seems that the shooters and farmers are wanting a handout.
I'm neither a shooter nor a cyclist, but in the absence of solutions to either I thought I'd offer mine, for the ignoring of the powers to be, who will no doubt make more pointless noises and achieve little.