FoMH members attended the Community Consultation Meeting conducted by the Headland owner, the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation, on 17 October 2012 at Maroubra Surf Club. At the meeting, further information was provided about the Commonwealth’s current program of activity.

All buildings on the Rifle Range (Lot 301), except those in use by the NSW Rifle Association, are to be demolished because they contain asbestos, lead-based paint and termites. This work is to start around 24 October. Among the buildings to be demolished are the Caretaker’s Cottage. FoMH opposes the demolition of this cottage as it has heritage values.

The first stage of demolition should take four to six weeks. Any concrete slabs will be left in position and clean fill will be laid over the sites of the buildings.

Bitou bush is being removed from the rifle range target batter, for safety reasons and to allow access to the sources of methane emissions from the landfill that lies beneath the rifle range.

Drainage and leachate at the northern end of Lot 301 are a high priority for remediation. Approval has been obtained for work to begin on this project.

Randwick Council’s stormwater drain at South Maroubra was found to contain significant levels of heavy metals. This drain will be lined by the Commonwealth and Council to prevent further contamination of it by leachate from the rifle range. However the drain will continue to flow into the sea near the childrens’ pools.

Soil samples taken near the southern end of Maroubra beach were found to contain little or no contamination. Work will begin on an interceptor drain and enlarged reed ponds to capture and treat leachate from Lot 301. It is hoped that this work will be completed by Christmas.

Extensive testing is being carried out to determine the extent of the former landfill, and methane emissions from it. The Commonwealth hopes to have the Remediation Action Plan for the Rifle Range completed by Christmas.

Several sweeps have been made to collect asbestos, car bodies and other rubbish from the Eastern Bushland (Lot 202). To date, 235 tonnes of rubbish have been taken away. A further sweep of rubbish will be made before Lot 202 is handed over to the NSW Government.

A survey to detect unexploded ordnance proved negative. The military buildings that were locked down may require further work to make them more secure.

Damage caused by mountain bike riders along the track from Fishermans Road car park to Boora Point will be addressed by signage, blocking off holes in the fence and patrols by security guards. As a last resort, offenders could be prosecuted.

FOMH has urged the Commonwealth to make every effort to deter the mountain bike riders from riding on this walking track and above all, from damaging the vegetation and altering the track in a careless and destructive manner in order to make it more bike friendly.

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