The City of Ballarat has been advised of the preliminary Environment Protection Authority Victoria advice, which identified lead and hydrocarbon contamination within the grounds of the Sebastopol Gun Club. In October 2016, soil testing conducted in public open space, including a bike path, between the gun club and the Yarrowee River returned results above recommended health limits for recreational levels. It is important to note test results from soil samples taken from nearby sporting facilities and ovals were clear of lead and hydrocarbons.
The City of Ballarat is working in conjunction with the EPA on this matter, with the first priority being to limit public exposure within the affected area. The City of Ballarat has erected appropriate fencing and installed signage along the bike path between the gun club and the Yarrowee River advising the community of the restricted areas while the investigation continues. The affected section of the bike path initially identified has been resurfaced as a part of the initial response and remains accessible to the public.
In March, 2017 the Sebastopol Gun Club ceased operations and the EPA are actively managing the site. Detailed investigations are required to understand the extent of the contamination and its long-term management. The City of Ballarat will continue to assist the EPA, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the shooting range’s management to achieve the best environmental and public health outcomes for the community. Anyone with concerns about lead exposure and their health are encouraged to discuss this with their doctor.