Po­lice curb on 50-cal ri­fle range

Countryman - - NEWS - Tom Zaun­mayr

A Gas­coyne pas­toral­ist is at log­ger­heads with WA Po­lice over com­pli­ance mea­sures tar­get­ing a 50-cal­i­bre-ca­pa­ble ri­fle range set up on his sta­tion to boost in­come from tourism.

Ella Valla Sta­tion man­ager Shane Ayl­more started draw­ing firearms en­thu­si­asts to his prop­erty af­ter a fire burnt through big swaths of feed and in­fras­truc­ture shortly af­ter he pur­chased the prop­erty in 2010.

The 2.7km range was orig­i­nally granted ap­proval in 2015. In Septem­ber this year, WA Po­lice wrote to Mr Ayl­more re­gard­ing in­tro­duc­tion of sev­eral con­di­tions, in­clud­ing lim­it­ing the types of firearms to be used, set­ting con­struc­tion and main­te­nance pa­ram­e­ters, in­tro­duc­tion of a sign-in reg­is­ter and com­pli­ance mea­sures.

Mr Ayl­more said he had spent more than $20,000 fight­ing the re­stric­tions he claimed were an over­reach of power.

“Club mem­bers won’t be able to at­tend a range af­ter hours on their own time. It can only be done when range of­fi­cer is present,” he said.

“No other range in WA has had an au­dit like this or had these con­di­tions im­posed on them in such a short time frame.

“My range is in the mid­dle of nowhere, it is fully fenced. How can it be more in the pub­lic in­ter­est than a range in town?”

WA Po­lice de­clined to com­ment as the mat­ter is sub­ject to on­go­ing le­gal pro­ceed­ings be­ing heard by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

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