State land up for sale

SHOOTING TO STAY: Beaudesert MP John Krause with Beaudesert Rifle Club president Mike Samuels at the rifle range in Tabragalba. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
SHOOTING TO STAY: Beaudesert MP John Krause with Beaudesert Rifle Club president Mike Samuels at the rifle range in Tabragalba. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

THE state government will sell land bought to make way for the proposed Glendower Dam at Tabragalba, putting at risk what has been the home of the Beaudesert Rifle Club for more than 50 years.

Club president Mike Samuels said if the sale went ahead, he feared for the future of the club, which had been home to several national and international champions.

A spokesman for State Development Minister Anthony Lynham would say only that negotiations were ongoing.

Mr Samuels said a meeting was scheduled for today, but the Minister’s office did not confirm this. 

Mr Samuels said he hoped that realistic options to buy the site or take on a long-term lease could be arranged.

“We were on a five-year lease and with the stroke of a pen we were put on a month-to-month lease about 18 months ago,” he said. 

“The price they are asking is just over $1 million and far too high for a non-profit organisation like us to afford but there's no other rifle range in the area our 240 members can use.”

Beaudesert MP Jon Krause has written to the government, asking for it to reconsider the terms of sale, given the club’s long history.

“The asking price is really a $1 million slap in the face for a volunteer organisation,” Mr Krause said. 

“They are not asking for a gift but I’ve made it clear that I want the government to reconsider the whole process, in particular the price.

“But quite apart from valuation, this club has been in existence since 1906.

“They’ve been here since 1965.

“There have been some terrific national representatives come from this club and they are not building any more shooting ranges around the place.”

Mr Samuels said the club had invested a significant sum to upgrade facilities, much of it funded by government grants and firearm safety training courses.

He said the land was perfect for a rifle club and not much else. 

“The land is contaminated and has been contaminated since 1942,” he said.

It contained lead from the area’s use as a military special forces training ground and had housed cattle dips in which arsenic was used.

Glendower was once a preferred dam site, ahead of the Mary River and its controversial Traveston Dam proposal on the Sunshine Coast hinterland during the Millennium Drought.

The government built Wyaralong Dam, north-west of Beaudesert, a cheaper option than Glendower.