New life for old rifle club

June 18, 2015

The Bingara Rifle Club range, which has not been used since the 1970s, may soon again hear the crack of rifle fire.

Paul Shaw and Laurie White, from the Inverell based Three Rivers Big Game Hunting Club Inc.have been in discussions with Gwydir Shire Council and the Crown Lands Office about recommissioning the site, the former home to the Bingara Rifle Club which operated from the late 1800s until the 1970s.

The former Bingara Rifle Range is situated on the Old Borah road. Mr. Shaw, President of the Three Rivers Club, said the situation of the range is most suitable for that purpose. Mr. Shaw and Mr. White attended the Community Services and Planning Committee meeting with an update of their plans.

Councillors adopted an officer recommendation “That the Council writes to the Crown Lands Office Moree requesting that the Council be made the Trust Manager for a suitable area of land located at the former Bingara Rifle Range site with the reservation being for a rifle range.”

Mr. Shaw said the Club would be responsible for all expenses for developing the range. The Club is self-funded, and fully insured, and would seek further funding through the Department of Sport and Recreation grants’ system.

“It would run in much the same way as a football ground,” Mr. Shaw said. We would run it for you as a user group, and pay a sum of money to Council as trust manager. We will pay the cost of having the area re-surveyed for a template of the fall-out zone.”

He said the site is still gazetted as a rifle range.

Mr. Shaw also indicated the club would fence the range, and provide signs every 35 to 40 metres reading ‘Danger Shooting Range Keep Out’. The gate would be locked.

Mr. White said “We have had some feedback from young people who are keen. Inverell has five shooting clubs.”

In answer to a question from Cr. Geoff Smith, Mr. Shaw said he envisaged the range being used twice a month. He went on to say that fencing and food for the club would be purchased locally.

“We also offer firearms training. Laurie is a qualified assessor,” Mr. Shaw added.

As soon as the Club gets the ‘green light’ to go ahead, work on the rifle range will begin, Mr. Shaw said.