Target shooting returns to Mt Vince Rifle Range

The first shots since 2017 will be fired at Mt Vince Rifle Range this Sunday (February 23).

Council helped secure the future of the rifle range when it agreed to purchase the 170-hectare site from the Department of Defence in 2018 for the nominal price of $1.

Without the off-market purchase, the site would have remained closed to shooters as it was among surplus assets being disposed of by the Department of Defence.

The transfer to council was approved about 12 months ago and Queensland Police Service (QPS) has now approved the shooting range to resume operations after conditions were met.

Mackay and District Target Rifle Association president Ted Mullan said this Sunday was a momentous occasion.

“We’ll be firing the first shots since July 2017 at to-date unused electronic targets,’’ he said.

The association is also hoping to hold a formal re-opening at an Open Prize Meet (OPM) in May, just prior to the NQRA Queen’s Prize championship in Townsville.

The NQRA Queen’s Prize was held in Mackay being moving back to Townsville in 2014.

Mr Mullan said during the range’s closure all North Queensland clubs had indicated they would support the re-opening of Mt Vince.

“We are hopeful of the support of lots of North Queensland shooters for this special event we’re hoping to hold in May,’’ he said.

“We intend for an OPM to incorporate the official re-opening, with dignitaries, people and businesses who have contributed greatly to the final approval invited and their efforts acknowledged.”

Mayor Greg Williamson, who is patron of Mackay and District Target Rifle Association, said it was exciting that shooting was returning to the range this weekend ahead of a major prize meet.

“Council was pleased to help secure a future for target shooting in the Mackay region by accepting the transfer of the site from the Department of Defence,’’ he said.

“We worked closely with Mackay and District Target Rifle Association on the agreement and it is pleasing to see a return of the sport at this home of shooting.”

Mt Vince Rifle Range public use

Once the range has re-opened, members of the public are welcome to attend at programmed or pre-arranged times to make use of the recently expanded facility.

All shooting will be supervised by National Rifle Association of Australia accredited range officers.

Shooting will be conducted in accordance with the Queensland Police Service range approvals and rules applicable to the specific range being used.

Other than Mt Vince Rifle Club members, all other uses must, on their first attendance, provide photographic identification, such as a drivers or weapons licence, passport or school ID card, and not be a Queensland Police Service excluded person under the Firearms Act.

Attendees do not have to have a firearms licence. Firearms safety training courses are available for persons wishing to obtain a licence.

Experience instructors provide training in the skills of shooting as requested.

Minors, aged 11 to 17, may shoot provided they are always supervised by a parent or guardian, as well as a range officer.

Attendees may bring their own rifle or be provided with a rifle to use.