Revealing Werribee South’s gun emplacements

Wyndham City is carrying out works at Wyndham Harbour to unearth historical items underneath a carpark off Beach Road, Werribee South.

Wyndham City Mayor Cr Josh Gilligan said two large concrete pads, known as gun emplacements, associated with World War 2 anti-aircraft training guns were discovered by contractors engaged to construct the Wyndham Harbour carpark in late 2018.

Upon discovery of the items, Council immediately suspended construction and engaged an independent archaeologist to assess the historical significance of the site and recommend any further action. A desktop study was sent to Heritage Victoria, the body responsible for archaeological matters, for consideration.

Cr Gilligan said Heritage Victoria had granted consent for the temporary exposure of the gun emplacements to record them prior to their reburial.

Cr Gilligan said Council, together with an independent archaeologist, began uncovering the 1940s gun emplacements  five weeks ago, in accordance with the requirements set by Heritage Victoria.

“The emplacements have been documented and the findings sent to Heritage Victoria. We now plan to rebury the site as required by Heritage Victoria and incorporate paving at the carpark to outline the location of the gun emplacements, along with signage explaining the significance of the find.

“The archaeologist found that the emplacements were of moderate local heritage significance due to their social and historic value but were of low archaeological value,” Cr Gilligan said.

“Heritage Victoria’s consent to uncover this archaeological site provides for temporary exposure of the gun emplacements for recording purposes and the reburial of the site following an archaeological assessment and the recording of data.

“During excavation, some very minor chipping and scuffmarks on the artefacts has occurred.  The work was carried out under the supervision of an archaeologist, who has found that no substantial damage has been done,” he said.

Cr Gilligan said the archaeological integrity of the gun emplacements would be protected through reburial in a way that ensures the area can be uncovered again in the future, should the need arise.

Heritage Victoria is responsible for archaeological sites such as this within Victoria and the investigation of the site has been carried out with Heritage Victoria’s guidance.

It has approved the works being carried out by Wyndham City and has outlined conditions for the works.

Source: Revealing Werribee South’s gun emplacements
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