HISTORY | Fate of military artifacts unclear

Frustrated: Museum curator Bob Gosling wants UrbanGrowth NSW to be more upfront about the fate of heritage artifacts. Picture: Simon Bennett
Frustrated: Museum curator Bob Gosling wants UrbanGrowth NSW to be more upfront about the fate of heritage artifacts. Picture: Simon Bennett

Bob Gosling has dedicated the past seven years to taking care of the military museum at the Ingleburn Military Heritage Precinct but now he has no idea what will happen to the site.

The museum, at Bardia Barracks, was recently inspected by health and safety officers and temporarily closed.

They’ve just shut us down. We found out two months ago people would be coming to assess it but they just came and wrapped it all up.

Mr Gosling, the museum’s curator and vice-president of the Ingleburn Military Precinct Association, feels staff at UrbanGrowth NSW – the owners of the site – have failed to involve him in the process of shutting the museum down.

He’s upset he wasn’t involved in removing the military artifacts from the museum and wished there was greater communication from UrbanGrowth about the site’s fate.

“They’ve just shut us down,” he said. “We found out two months ago that people would be coming to assess the building but after that they just came and started wrapping everything up. Communication could ‘ve been 100 per cent better.”

Mr Gosling was worried the artifacts – many donated from RSLs and military groups – would be “left to rot” in storage somewhere. He said items at the museum included military uniforms, nurses’ uniforms, replica weapons, soldiers’ gear and more.

An UrbanGrowth NSW spokesman said a hygienist was assessing the building to address “a number of safety and risk issues” and the artifacts would be taken care of.

“A military curator was engaged to assist with the task of moving the heritage memorabilia to safe storage onsite as further testing continues,” he said.

“The Ingleburn Military Precinct Association was involved in the relocation process. We’ll continue to consult with stakeholders once testing has been completed and recommendations made.”

The spokesman said UrbanGrowth “was committed to conserving the military history of the precinct for future generations”.

“We’ve continued dialogue with the Ingleburn Military Precinct Association and others since owning the site and recently commenced more formal engagement with our stakeholders,” he said.