Closure on 31st October,but only for some
Word from the CommonwealthSpecial Minister of State, Gary Gray, is that the status -quoregarding closure of the ANZAC Rifle Range at Malabar stands.Delegations from the SSAA, NSW Rifle Association member Associationsand the current Range User Committee, consisting the horseridingschool, Model Aero Club, Smallbore Association and Drummoyne PistolClub as well as those abovementioned have recently been briefed on various occasions by the Commonwealth, who are the lease managers and owner of the site.
So what is thatstatus-quo? My sources, who were in the NSW Rifle Associationdelegation, were given an ironclad assurance from Gray’s office threeweeks ago that the Rifle Association clubs have continued accessafter the 31st October and that the Commonwealth is working onidentifying an appropriate site or sites within Sydney to accommodatethe different disciplines shot by them. These include Service Rifle,Fullbore and F-Class and Field Class Centrefire and Rimfire.
Once that site (as yetunconfirmed) is brought up to a state where it can be used by the NSWRifle Association clubs, then they will have to relocate, which haslong been the condition signed off in the lease agreement the rifleAssociation has with the Commonwealth. So the Commonwealth arehonouring their part of the bargain.
As for the other rangeusers, including the SSAA, who have been excluded from using therange for some time due to use voiding their insurance coverage, theyhave been given final notice that they are to vacate the site by the31st October. This has caused some internal turmoil in theorganisation which their State Branch has been working hard toaddress. Hopefully, the members who shot there will be able to findalternative ranges to shoot the various disciplines they have shot atMalabar for many years.
While the eventual outcomefor the NSW Rifle Association is somewhat more predictable, it isstill a crying shame that such a marvellous shooting facility willeventually close for them also.
A bit of social history.The pic attached to this story shows the fullbore range at Malabar in1972. Editor is in the giggle hat and his dad is lying down on theleft in the “dress of the day”, smart pressed shorts and longwhite socks. Pic by Harold Wood, Sydney Rifle Club.