Open forum will hear residents' complaints

A sign on the fence of the property at Samuel's Run.
A sign on the fence of the property at Samuel's Run.

Collector residents opposed to a proposed firing range near their village are presenting a list of grievances to Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council on Wednesday.

The proposed shooting range, known as Samuel’s Run, at 2155 Collector Road, 4km from the village, attracted 50 submissions.  

The residents’ group is presenting some of these concerns that were raised in the submissions. Chief among these they say is that the council legally approve the DA application from Australian Target Systems (ATS). 

Residents’ group member Viv Hardy said under current the zoning laws –the proposal was a prohibited use of the land.

“The land is zoned for primary and agricultural use. I am not sure that live target shooting is what they had in mind for primary production,” she said. 

Another resident, Greg Akurst is speaking in the council’s public forum on the merits and disadvantages of the proposal. He said the proponents claims of an economic benefit to the region are unsubstantaited. 

“The proponents say ‘accommodation and catering’ spin offs will benefit the region, but anyone who uses this facility will be accommodated and fed at nearby low cost service and police accommodations - there will be no benefit to residents,” Mr Akhurst said. 

“Indeed, there will be significant negative effects on primary production and resident’s mental health. 

“The population also has a high component of ex military personnel, many of whom are recovering from medical and emotional trauma.

“Families moved here with the expectation of the peaceful and reasonable enjoyment of their properties. What we will get with this development is the collective gunfire of 10-20 people, every 20 to 30 minutes, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, two nights a week and on some weekends.”   

A lawyer will also be presenting on the legal admissibility of the development. An ATS representative is also speaking in the public forum. 

The major issues raised in the submissions included:

  • a reduction in land values, a flawed and inaccurate noise report, a
  • an increased fire risk,
  • adverse impacts to physical and mental health,
  • adverse effects on local businesses 
  • negative impacts on primary production, home businesses and rural businesses, 
  • security and safety threats from ammunition storage,
  • an inadequate Aboriginal report and
  • conflicting land use issues. 

Lee Bath for the proponent, ATS said the council presentation was “just part of due council process.”

“Everyone has their right to make a submission to council and they will make their decision,” Ms Bath said. 

“The council will take into consideration the community’s concerns and will do their due diligence and look into each of those submissions as to whether they are valid or not.” 

“ATS will get a right of reply to all of those concerns from the council.

“We just have to wait for the council to do their job and come back to us with any of their concerns based on those submissions. It is just part of the process. 

“This is the opportunity for people to raise their concerns. At the end of the day council will make their decision. All we can do is follow the due process.”

​A council spokesperson said regardless of the permissibly of the application, that the council would be the determining authority. 

“This will be addressed as part of the assessment of the DA. Council has not yet formed an opinion,” he said. 

He said the council had not formulated a time frame for assessment at this stage. 

The meeting starts at 5.30pm and is in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Council Chambers, 256 Crawford St, Queanbeyan.