DUMPING OF ARMY MATERIAL
ON THE ATHERTON TABLELAND
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

Cairns Post, Thursday 4 October 1945

DUMPING OF ARMY MATERIAL
ON ATHERTON TABLELAND.

SEARCHING INQUIRY ORDERED.

CANBERRA. October 2.-The Minister for the Army (Mr. F. M. Forde) stated in the House of Representatives to-day that there would be a searching investigation into the allegations by the Leader of the Country Party (Mr. A. W. Fadden) of dumping and destruction, of Army material on the Atherton Tableland.

Speaking on the adjournment, Mr. Fadden read to the House extracts from the report of the investigator, who, he said, had obtained first-hand knowledge of what was occurring.

The investigator reported to Mr. Fadden: "Some of the dumps that contain thousands of pounds' worth' of valuable material are being placed out of bounds to civilians, and the Army are covering up the traces with bulldozers."

Allegations made by the investigator included:-

Many Army dixies and other cooking utensils have been tied in lots of. three or more and a crowbar driven through them to make them unserviceable.

Tinning has been burned off buckets and dixies. Others have been deliberately punctured.

Cases containing thousands of carburettor springs were strewn over the ground.

Up to 200 stoves are heaped beside a dump.

Specially machined pieces of piping worth 1 have been thrown away.

TINNED FOOD BUSIED.

The investigator said that at Kairi and Danbulla residents found sides of bacon, thousands of tins of meat and vegetables, bully beef, tinned fruits, jams, curry powder, "dehydrated potatoes, and large quantities of rice buried.

Witnesses would swear that in one dump they found many useful parts of motor cars, requiring only a few shillings to put them in order.

They would swear also that large quantities of jungle boots were burnt Only defect in the boots was that they: were fitted with long spikes.

The story behind the destruction of 25,000 Army blankets was that, they were stacked in a big marquee through which storm water had poured, and soaked the bales. The blankets could have been saved with a little initiative, but the Army authorities preferred, to let them rot.

ACTION PROMISED.

Mr. Forde said that there would be 'a searching investigation into Mr. Fadden's allegations.

"If it can be proved that these allegations are correct, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken," Mr. Forde added.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

Cairns Post, Thursday 4 October 1945

 

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This page first produced 31 December 2016

This page last updated 31 December 2016