Major regional sports shooting range stalled

BUREAUCRATIC obstruction at State Government level has all but derailed plans for a major regional sports shooting range near Gympie.

That was the implication in information presented to Gympie Regional Council yesterday.

Ministerial support for the proposal did not seem to have influenced "gentlemen from Brisbane" who appeared to have changed the goalposts on the long-awaited range, councillors were told.

Infrastructure councillor Larry Friske told the meeting a new and more distant site now proposed for the shooting range was "totally unsuitable for any sort of shooting range."

"It's vertical," Cr Julie Walker summarised.

A previously supported site, at the Gympie end of Curra State Forest, has now been rejected by the state despite being the "historically" recognised site on which all previous negotiations had been based.

Council planning director Michael Hartley said it appeared that site, near Tamaree, was no longer on offer.

"The government says it won't work in terms of size and buffer areas and its proximity to rural residential areas," he told the meeting.

Responding to councillors arguing that only the Tamaree site would be suitable, Mr Hartley said: "I don't think that's going to be offered."

Councillors were considering a staff recommendation to allocate $40,000 "to undertake a study into the practicality and preliminary concept design of a new shooting facility (at the more northern site)."

Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said he would not advocate spending money for a block "that's not going to be suitable''.

"This matter's been around since long before I was involved in council. It just seems to go round and round and round," he said.

"The only site that works is the original site," Cr Friske said.

Mayor Ron Dyne successfully urged that the council write to Sport Minister Steve Dickson "saying we're not happy with the department's recommendation. We should write to the Minister and get this back on track," he said.