Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hilltop Rifle Range Facility opposed

Today the people of Hilltop (and many others) voiced their opposition to the expansion of the Southern Highlands Rifle Club (SHRC) into a Regional Shooting Complex. Instead of being a weekend facility as at present, it is intended that it would operate 7 days a week, and with two nights up until 10:00pm.

No wonder many people think that is unreasonable.Today there were people shooting, and I could hear the rifle cracks from about 2 Km away from their front gate. The expected impact of noise from a greatly increased operation, and the long operating hours, especially at night has many people worried.
Many groups, including the National Parks Association (of which I am a member) supported the locals. Here Tony Hill, NPA Chairman is speaking. He was critical that the area for the expanded shooting facility has been excised from the Bargo State Conservation Area. Also there are significant environmental issues, especially associated with the effects of lead which will be released into the local environment as a result of the shooting.Councillor Malcolm Murray spoke against the proposal, mostly being very critical of the fact that Minister Frank Sartor has deemed the project a State Significant Project, thus removing any rights of appeal from the local community, and also removing any authority the Council might have normally had. Lee Rhiannon, Greens MLC member (in the background in this image) also spoke against the proposal.Jan (a member of NPA) was there supporting John, a local horse-rider, and child with his pony, all bearing signs protesting against the expansion of the SHRC facility. Locals are concerned primarily about the noise, and safety issues, and the horse-riders are concerned about horses getting "spooked", with resultant risks to riders, especially young children.Will Frank Sartor take any notice? If Lee Rhiannon's theory that it is a deal stitched up with the Shooters' Party, then it is unlikely that he will.

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