The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will undertake additional soil testing at the former clay target gun range at McFarlane’s Hill in Wodonga.

Hume Regional Director, Clare Kiely, confirmed that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) had asked DELWP to undertake further analysis following the detection of lead traces at the site.

“McFarlane’s Hill is located on Crown Land, managed by Parklands Albury Wodonga on behalf of DELWP,” Ms Kiely said.

“It is a popular area with the local community for walking and mountain biking.”

“While the additional soil testing is being undertaken, McFarlane’s Hill and adjoining parklands will remain open to the community. The impacted areas are clearly sign posted.

“However, EPA has advised that visitors to the site should avoid activities which cause soil disturbance.”

EPA conducted a range of tests during August and September this year, testing soil at the former gun range for traces of lead and benzopyrene, a plastic polymer used in the manufacture of clay targets.

Seven soil samples in total were taken. Of the samples, one sample returned a reading and showed lead in trace amounts, and below the threshold of 600 milligrams per kilogram (600mg/kg), as set by the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM).

“We are now working with the EPA to determine the most suitable approach to undertaking the additional works, which we hope will be completed by March of next year,” Ms Kiely said.