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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1939


Australia was at war from 1939 to 1945. During this time, Townsville became a major military base for both Australian and overseas Armed Forces. It was therefore deemed necessary for Public Works staff to relocate to the area to assist with defence projects. Substantial quantities of materials were required for these projects and procurement and transportation was rapid. The department was also involved in procuring and sending food supplies.
As the war escalated, Townsville was deemed too dangerous for Works staff due to the imminent risk of bombing and invasion. It was decided therefore that offices were to be moved to Charters Towers. Staff remained there for several months. On the night of their return to Townsville, Japanese bombs were dropped on the city. Thankfully, no lives were lost and structural damage was minimal.

Last updated 11 June 2014    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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