Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Close Dangerous Shooting Complex and reinstate the Bargo Reserve

“The ranges at the Southern Highlands Shooting Complex are bare earth, with poor lead management and faulty geometry making them unsuitable and dangerous to use.  The ranges receive little use because of these serious faults and should not be upgraded but removed, and Bargo State Conservation Area reinstated,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The stop butts at the end of the ranges currently can cause bullets to ricochet.  The current stop butts are NOT consistent with the Firearms Registry (NSW Police) Range Users Guide.  A development proposal by the NSW Office of Sport seeks to fix these and other major faults in the $7.7 million tax-payer funded facility,” Mr Muir said.

“Lead run-off from the shooting facility is a risk as the site is in the Warragamba water catchment and adjoins the World Heritage Area.  The storm water management is undersized and there is no lead recycling,” he said.

Extended hours poorly explained to Hilltop community

“The Office of Sport has failed to adequately notify the public regarding the significant extension of operating hours proposed.  The operating times for the outdoor ranges are to be extended from four days a week to seven days and three nights per week, with the addition of night time operating hours, that will extend from 10am to 10pm.  The current conditions specify hours of 10am to 5pm.  Further, under this modification the EPA may consider extension of operating hours for Special Events on public holidays, including at night,” he said.

“The types of weapons proposed to be used on the ranges can generate up to 105dB(L), which I assume is a military weapon or similar, to generate that amount of noise”, Mr Muir said.

“The proposal has been a blunder from the start.  The site remains inappropriate, the shooting ranges should be relocated to a less environmentally sensitive site and 1,300 hectare site should be returned to the Bargo State Conservation Area”, said Mr Muir.

[Public comment on the proposed modifications to the Southern Highland shooting ranges will close on Tuesday 31 January, 2017.]

Link to Southern Highlands Shooting Complex Mod 5 on Department of Planning & Environment website

For more info contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)