Planned shooting site in line of fire

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
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A clay shooting facility is on the cards for Ludlow, but some residents are pleading for the site to become a conservation park instead.

Busselton and Bunbury’s Clay Target Clubs are on the lookout for a long-term shared site, with Busselton on a rolling three-month lease and Bunbury losing its facility in 2013.

Iluka Resources owns the land — located at Lots 500 and 501 Plantation Road, Ludlow — but if the application is approved, the mining company will draw up a formal lease.

During Wednesday’s public access session, Graeme Baesjou represented the clubs and played down concerns about lead contamination. He said the land was flat where shooting would take place, limestone would be laid to maintain neutral PH levels and prevent lead leaching, and professional contractors would be hired for lead removal.

However, several residents flagged concerns.

Janet Wells, of Capel-Tutunup Road, told councillors the area was rich and diverse in flora and fauna, and said she would like one day to see it become a conservation park.

“Sites like this are disappearing,” she said.

Rhys Hitching questioned how effective containment and clean-up efforts would be and pointed to the Ludlow River, which he said would be under threat from lead.

The Iluku-owned land is currently subject to a restrictive covenant, disallowing mining activities.

But Mr Baesjou said the City of Busselton had the power to lift that and it did not safeguard the land from mining forever.

Clay target shooting sees shotguns fired at disk-shaped clay targets made of dolomite clay and the facility would be equipped for trap, skeet, tower and sporting clays.

The development application proposes clubrooms with toilets and showers, and would require about 1.76ha to be cleared.

City of Busselton planning and development services director Paul Needham urged people to lodge their submissions via the yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au website by Wednesday.

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