Old Redbank rifle range will open for public use

THE city has secured control of the old Redbank Rifle Range opening the 200ha bushland site to future recreational use.

The State Government has appointed Ipswich City Council as trustee of the site, on both sides of Goodna Creek.

The site has long-standing issues with potentially unexploded ordnances and underground mining.

Historically it served as a major training ground for Australian and US forces during World War II.

Parks, Sport and Recreation Committee Chairman David Morrison said council had taken on the site with "eyes open" on the issues involved and had detailed environmental reports to guide future uses.

He said the site would be gradually opened up for public use with a number of options being considered.

"This bushland has sat unused since it was decommissioned as the Redbank Rifle Range in 1982 when the land was sold by the Commonwealth to the Queensland Coal Board," Cr Morrison said.

"Council has now received control of the area and will be pressing ahead with plans to open it up for recreational use.

"We're not sure what specific equipment or developments will go ahead or the types of trails we'll build, but they will be in line with community expectations of high quality desirable outdoor recreation facilities."

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the outcome was an exciting opportunity for the city, the site being "larger than 12 Southbank Parklands".

"This is the single largest piece of unspoiled bushland connecting Brisbane and Ipswich," Cr Tully said.

"Continuing south from Smiths Road, Redbank and the Ipswich Motorway all the way to Bellbird Park, we're talking about a huge area of land.

"This has been a long process and an overdue outcome, so now we are looking forward to getting on with developing plans for the area.

"The Redbank Rifle Range has a high conservation and environmental value."

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