Club president Brian and Barbara Thring of Full Draw Field Archers
Club president Brian and Barbara Thring of Full Draw Field Archers Facebook

Local archery group has its sights set on WWII land

ALL these Rocky field archers want is new shooting club, but a blast from the past is standing in their way.

Club president of the Full Draw Field Archers, Brian Thring, began the group due to a need for a club with more challenging grounds - but finding suitable land has proven difficult.

"We're still in the process of working with the council, unfortunately there's not that many suitable blocks,” Mr Thring said.

"There's basically none around apart from a block along Yeppoon to Rockhampton Rd.”

The only land that would prove useful to Mr Thring and his fellow archers was previously used as a weapons range, which makes gaining approval difficult.

"Basically it's about 300 acres and we're asking to use the front 120 acres because it was UXO (unexploded ordnance) land,” Mr Thring said.

"In WWII they used it as a mortar range, but that was the back part of it.”

The Queensland Government website describes UXO as "ammunition such as artillery shells, mortar bombs and grenades that did not explode when used”.

In order to use the land, a development application must be lodged with the relevant local government.

The process may also require the applicant to "engage with a UXO investigation and re-mediation contractors or consultants to further investigate and assess the risk of the UXO”.

Mr Thring met with the Rockhampton Regional Council earlier this month to discuss the club's future and said although there was still red-tape to work through, he was happy with the response.

" The mayor very accommodating to let us try and work through the hassles of getting it usable,” Mr Thring said.

"It's just sitting there doing nothing.

"We understand the council hasn't got the money to turn around and rectify it... but we might try to get some grants.

"If there wasn't a UXO problem on the grounds on the Yeppoon to Rocky Rd, the council were quite willing to give us a lease on it before they found out there was a problem there...”

The club, which is 30 to 50 members strong, has had to travel to other Central Queensland archery clubs to get their fix, going as far as Gympie.

This has driven them to work hard and raise money to reach their dreams, but they still have a long way to go with "quite a few thousand dollars” needed to make the land usable to council standard.

"We've raised about $3000 at the moment,” Mr Thring said.

"Everyone's quite supportive of it, we've got a lot of interest in it and furthering the club.

"We've got a lot of kids wanting to get out there and do the field archery.

"We're just trying to get it up and going and thank everyone for their support at the fund-raising barbecues we've had.

"Hopefully we can work through it soon get some grounds to start putting young members through and existing members have got grounds to call home.”