Post by 27 March 2008
Department of Planning
GPO Box 39
SYDNEY NSW 2000
RESPONSE TO MAJOR PROJECT APPLICATION
AND STATE SIGNIFICANT SITE LISTING – SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS REGIONAL SHOOTING COMPLEX (MP no. 06_0232)
I/we the undersigned object to the abovementioned application and request that the Department of Planning decline
the project application and significant site listing on the basis that the proposed development is ecologically and socially
Contamination: the topography of the site consists of
a number of ridges, which form some of the highest elevations within the surrounding area putting lower lying areas, including
creeks and rivers, at risk of lead and other heavy metal pollution through surface water run-off, which is significant during
periods of heavy rain (as recently experienced). The shotgun range would be a particularly heavy ongoing polluter of surface
Bushfire Hazard: The topography of the site also presents
the worst possible scenario for a bushfire event with facilities developed on the tops of ridges. Fire fighting facilities appear inadequate, with no significant water supply, no electricity and no landline
communication. From the point of view of the villages, increased human activity in this high risk landscape increases the
threat of firestorms sweeping down on our communities, fanned by hot Westerly winds, and with no intervening fire breaks.
Endangering of flora and fauna: The site forms part
of the natural habitat for 108 protected species and 22 threatened species including breeding koalas (according to a recent
study undertaken by Koala experts). SEPP 44 should be implemented for this site.
The clearing of bushland will have serious consequences for many resident species and the ongoing operation of the site will
add to the noise, pollution and weed burden of the ecosystem.
Noise: The closeness of the proposed development to
a large proportion of the Hill Top population is not accurately reflected in the EA, where it is shown as 5.5 km from the
general store. In fact, the majority of the population is on the North Western
side of the general store, and as little as 3 km from the proposed site. This means that the village will be significantly
impacted by the increasing noise levels from the expanded site just across the valley as well as the impact of the construction
phase through the use of heavy machinery/generators.
Traffic: This proposal has the potential to increase
traffic through the village of Hill Top by 40% per day and to repeat this over seven days and three nights per week. The present
road infrastructure could not safely support this increase as it is hardly adequate for the present level of traffic. The construction phase will also present safety issues through the narrow access to
the village and along West Parade/Wattle Ridge road during peak periods of use.
The Future: The
licensee of the existing site has for many years ignored restrictions on use and it is certain that it will increase in size
and usage in years to come, without any need for community or Local Government consultation.
Given the significant infringements of the private amenity of Hill Top and Balmoral
residents as well as recreational users (bushwalkers, birdwatchers etc) of the adjoining World Heritage Area, the inappropriateness
of the site and the lack of adequate infrastructure to support this facility (we request that the Department of Planning deny
approval of this ill conceived application and take this opportunity to maintain the site as a conservation area to be preserved
and protected for the peaceful enjoyment of present and future generations of Australians.