Munitions site in a sorry state

A view of the abandoned and vandalised Truganina Munitions Reserve, from the old gatehouse on Palmers Road. Photo: Alesha Capone

Historic Truganina Munitions Reserve has become a target for graffitists, vandals and rubbish dumpers, spurring calls for the site to be restored or demolished.

Star Weekly visited the abandoned reserve, which is bounded by Palmers, Boundary and Dohertys roads, last week.

The site’s buildings are covered in graffiti and their windows smashed. Discarded spray cans and old tyres litter the landscape.

A building at the reserve. Photo: Alesha Capone

According to the Wyndham – Our story website, part of the disused industrial complex was used as a munitions depot and army stables during the Second World War.

It is also home to a ruin known as “Henry Robinson’s house”, which was part of a farm in the 1880s.

Wyndham city operations director Stephen Thorpe said the Truganina Munitions Reserve was privately owned.

Inside one of the reserve’s old buildings. Photo: Alesha Capone

“Council has investigated several incidents of illegal rubbish being dumped on the site without the permission of the owner,” he said.

Mr Thorpe said that since 2009, the council had also issued four infringements and one intervention notice for long grass at the site.

“The state of the buildings, however, is not an issue that council can enforce as we do not inspect rural or industrial properties for unsightliness,” he said.

“There are currently no heritage overlays affecting this property. However it is listed on the Victorian Heritage Inventory, meaning any potential developer would need to go through Heritage Victoria before carrying out any work on the site.”

Most buildings on the site have been trashed and graffitied. Photo: Alesha Capone

Mr Thorpe said no recent planning applications had been lodged to develop the site.

After Star Weekly posted photos showing the state of the reserve on social media last week, several people labelled it an “eyesore”.

Joan Ann said: “It is just awful, there is just no respect for our history.”

A pile of discarded spray cans. Photo: Alesha Capone

Mike said: “I used to go past this every day going to work, about 18 years ago, can’t believe it’s been let go this badly.”

Some people argued the site should be demolished, while others said it should be restored to preserve its history for the community.

“Council should purchase, restore and turn it into a community centre or something for the local area,” Craig said.