Defence has agreed to sell the Mount Vince Rifle Range to Mackay Regional Council, via an off-market sale process, for the nominal sum of $1.
FILE PHOTO: Mackay Rifle Club web-site image.
Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett and members for Capricornia and Dawson, Michelle Landry and George Christensen announced the approval of the sale today.
Minister Fawcett said this was a great outcome for Mackay, the local community and the Department of Defence.
“The 170-hectare site will support a rural fire brigade depot and also provides an opportunity to reinstate shooting activities in the area for use by civilian rifle clubs,” he said.
“The sale of Mount Vince Rifle Range demonstrates the government’s commitment to unlocking surplus Commonwealth properties for uses that support the Australian community.”
Michelle Landry said the sale represented a great opportunity for Capricornia, particularly for the local rifle clubs who would be able to recommence shooting activities on the site.
“This change of ownership is a positive move for not only the growing sporting-shooter scene around Mackay, but it will surely help continue the proud history of the Mount Vince range.
“For many decades this site has delivered for the nation and for the local community and I’m pleased to see the site returned to community hands,” Ms Landry said.
Mr Christensen said the sale was a successful outcome for the people of Mackay.
“This sale has secured the Mt Vince site for sporting shooters and I congratulate club president Ted Mullan and other members on the outcome,” Mr Christensen said.
Mayor Greg Williamson said the Mackay Council was pleased to help secure a future for target shooting in the Mackay region.
“We have been working closely with Mackay and District Target Rifle Association on this agreement and we are looking forward to working with them in the future now the contract has been signed,” Mr Williamson said.
“The range will be used by multiple clubs on a weekly basis and we are hopeful that this arrangement will allow the sport to continue to grow in our region.
“Being one of the few long-distance shooting ranges in Queensland, it is also an attractive venue for major events that bring economic benefits to the region.”
The range was built in 1958 and was used by the military for training until about 10 years ago.
Shooting ranges are hard to sell because the land is considered lead-contaminated from after years of shooting.
Mackay District Target Rifle Club president Ted Mullen told the Daily Mercury newspaper he believed the ADF would have locked the gate and thrown away the key if the council hadn’t stepped in to purchase it.
“If it wasn’t for the likes of the regional council that put their hand up and said yeah, we’re interested in becoming the owners, the alternative would have been Defence would have simply closed the range and locked it up,” he said.
“We’re over the moon.”