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Unexploded ordnance in Campbell horse trail

By Kerces 14 December 2005 4

John Stanhope has called on the federal government to remove unexploded World War II ordnance from a horse trail near Campbell Park.

My first reaction to finding out there was ordnance in the area, of which the Department of Defense advised the ACT Government in 2003, was why the hell are there WWII explosives/weapons laid in Canberra ground anyway? I didn’t know we were ever under direct threat of invasion (but then my knowledge of history is somewhat confused and limited).

Anyway, the trail has been shut since the government found out about the danger three years ago and an alternative trail has been built at a cost of $18,000 (cost to who? and why can’t this be a replacement trail?).

The reason this seems to have all come up again is that our own Liberal senator Gary Humphries has been demanding to know why the ACT Government doesn’t just open the old trail back up again seeing as no one had been hurt on it before.

The Chief Minister said that just because nobody had been hurt in the past is not a good enough reason to reopen the trail, a sentiment which I agree with — after all, we don’t really want hidden live explosives hanging round the place do we?

“The safety of trail users is paramount and I wonder that the Department of Defence, having thought it prudent to inform the ACT Government of the potential for unexploded ordnance in the vicinity, does not also think it prudent to ensure that the area is safe,” Mr Stanhope said. He suggested that Senator Humphries use his influence to get the Department of Defense to move the removal of this ordnance higher up in their priorities.

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Unexploded ordnance in Campbell horse trail
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midnitecalla 10:16 pm 16 Dec 05

Mael, your dead on with your theory, as there was a strategy involving a line of last resort if the Japs and Jerries ever came down this way, the line started with Newcastle , tamworth,sydney canberra ,wagga , ballarat, mildura airports being upgraded to fighter bases capable of supporting full squadrons in a pitched battle to contain the threat and melbourne was to be the fall back capital if canberra fell. this is why preparations were spent in blostering up hidden defenses that thankfully were never used.

the best know peace time usage of ballarats huge empty fuel tanks was to sell one off and some one has converted it into a comfortable home.

Canberra airport wasnt orginally going to be where it was , but due to naturally flat land forming the eastlake basin and the war being what it was forced the modification of the lake plans as drawn by WBG.this is the Real Eastlake!as a result the peace time aerodrome was moved from dickson shops( as orignally planned it was to be where belconnen mall now stands) out to the new airport in the fifties.

all the key regional aerodromes /airports were remodelled into powerful bases using the same plans, this is why Wagga looks the same as Fairbairn, Tamworth the same as Newcastle ( which I believe is the last remaining active fighter base covering the ACT in case of airborne threats)

Tamworth is still active but in a training mode.

this is all on record at the National Library and the AWM, and i also have in the past talked to former war cabinet, and pre NCDC planners
Also to confirm my stories pls take a closer look at the commemorative plaque on the dickson library wall, near the entrance as it stands on the old control tower site of the Canberra Aerodrome.

Kerces 6:56 pm 15 Dec 05

Mael I actually meant that I didn’t think Canberra was under risk of direct attack. But your thoughts about a last stand kinda make sense I guess.

Thumper 11:42 am 15 Dec 05


Sounds like Holesworthy….

Except no horses there….

Maelinar 11:25 am 15 Dec 05

Kerces, slap thyself silly with a wet xmas tree branch.

Australia was under direct threat of invasion during WW2 from the Japanese. You might remember that they have only just found the missing japanese submarine that caused havoc in Sydney harbour but was then subsequently lost at sea.

The reason why there was ordinance in the area (I spell ordinance that way), if you look at Germany, especially Berlin, as the centre of the Nazi empire. Of course they needed bullets and stuff for the ‘final’ fight, and similar planning would have gone into Canberra’s battle planning.

That’s not to say why this ordinance is here, but it’s a logical reason why it could be.

Given that it is unexploded, which means it has already been fired from a weapon, it indicates that there was a training facility in the area, (possibly to train young lads for the final fight), and stuff that didn’t explode still remains there.

Given that it’s now 50+ years since those explosives fell, I’m positive that the DoD would be very reluctant to attend the site as all kinds of things can go wrong with stuff that’s been lying out in the elements.

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