Wangaratta Clay Target Club holds first competition since lead closure

Ongoing issue

Ongoing issue

A NORTH East gun club closed by lead contamination welcomes its reopening but remains uncertain about the future.

Wangaratta Clay Target Club hopes about 60 shooters will attend its Down The Line event on Saturday, its first competition for about a year.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria closed North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve last year after lead was detected in soil samples at the site’s eastern boundary.

Past skeet shooting practices had caused the issue, which also affected North Wangaratta Football and Netball Club.

Gun club vice-president Brian Reid said competitors were expected to travel from Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, Mansfield, Alexandra, Benalla, Corowa, Rutherglen and possibly Melbourne.

“Being our first official reopening shoot, we’re going to get a lot of shooters there that will make the effort to come to Wang because they’ve felt for us, I guess,” he said. 

Mr Reid said despite the reopening, the lead issue had not been fully resolved.

“I describe it as an amber light from the authorities,” he said.

“We haven’t got the green light yet for long-term future because we’re still waiting on contamination management plans and clean-up plans.

“They won’t be released until the end of August so we’re really apprehensive, I guess, about what will be in those to see whether we can afford to comply with them.

“Whatever’s in there is going to cost money, which we’re only operating on borrowed money at the moment so our resources are cash strapped.

“But it’s good to be back even if it’s only on an interim approval basis, we have to be optimistic about the future.”