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?
â€œThe 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,â€ 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.