The end of No. 20 Squadron RAAF Flying Boat Base in Darwin – a national disgrace.
Word through today from Silvano Jung, that Darwin has been rejected by the Territory Heritage Minister to list & protect the old Catalina base at East Arm.
“The mighty dollar is more important than WWII heritage sites in the Northern Territory, as confirmed by the Heritage Minister, Peter Chandler. – Darwin is the only site in Australia that hasn’t protected its WWII flying boat bases, and now we know why. ‘Development at all cost’ – the message from the Heritage Minister. Leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. No recognition on site for the RAAF and Marine Section members who served at East Arm. Best not mention the war?”
(Silvano Jung has been involved with aviation archeology and PBY research with Northern Territory University for quite a few years, including the plotting and recording of the remains of A24-1.)
‘The Minister’s reasons were as follows:
(a) the land on which the remains of the Flying Boat Base are situated and neighbouring parcels of land are intended to be significantly developed for marine industry purposes, including the possible development of a Marine Industry Park;
(b) the development referred to in paragraph (a) is likely to be signficant to the future expansion of industrial marine and ancillary services in the Northern Territory;
(c) Paspaley Pearls Properties Pty Ltd holds the land on which the remains of the Flying Boat Base is situated under the terms of a Crown lease that requires development of the land for marine industry purposes;
(d) it is submitted, and I accept that, the land on which the remains of the Flying Boat Base are situated cannot be developed as intended for marine industry purposes if the remains of the flying Boat Base are declared a heritage place.’