$2B gun club risk

Australian shooting industry stares down the barrel of huge environmental liability

HOME ON THE RANGE: Wangaratta Clay Target Club vice president Brian Reid has been a part of the club's return to shooting after reports of lead contamination and an investigation by the Environment Protection Authority. PHOTO: Marc Bongers

AN Australian leader in environmental consulting, who compiled the contamination report for a Wangaratta gun club, has warned that implementation of impractical government frameworks could represent a $2 billion liability for the national shooting industry.

Environmental scientist and director of Ground Corp, Ben Lodge, is a leading national industry adviser on contamination issues who has consulted for Olympic and Commonwealth Games shooting venues.

His company teamed up with CRC CARE, an internationally acclaimed contaminated land research body, to develop a practical solution to the issues, and has presented a submission to Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The submission will serve to improve the management of all shooting clubs, and ensure liability is representative of the real risks.

This approach also reduces a potential liability beyond the shooting industry, as often shooting clubs have very limited funds and other entities have to contribute to funding if clean-ups are enforced.

Mr Lodge believes the problem in Wangaratta Clay Target Club’s (WCTC) case is that shooting clubs are not suitably represented under either of the frameworks that apply to ‘contaminated land’ or ‘occupational health and safety’.

He cites as an example that under a typical application of the ‘contaminated land’ framework a clay target club such as WCTC would require clean-up about every 10 weeks, and notes it is clearly apparent that a practical solution is required.

Ground Corp made the submission to EPA in a bid to help facilitate a reasonable outcome initially for WCTC, and to establish a practical approach Australia wide.

This post is part of the thread: North Wangaratta lead contamination – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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