Secret WWII fuel storages uncovered

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The tiny village of Lake Bathurst, an hour north-east of Canberra, seems a very long way from the battlegrounds of World War Two.

But while war was raging in the Pacific, huge concrete structures were being built under the hills of Lake Bathurst, ready to store thousands of litres of fuel in the case that Australia's supplies were cut off by the Japanese.

The fuel stores were just one of 32 facilities which were set up all around Australia.

Today in Lake Bathurst, what remains of this piece of Australia's war history is owned by Colin Dennett.

"Back in 1942 the land was purchased by the Defence Department, and specifically the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), to construct a number of these emergency fuel depots for the RAAF around Australia," he says.

"It was to disperse the fuel storage in the event that the Japanese got a foothold to the point where oil imports were excluded or prohibited, and they needed something like 20 million gallons capacity of storage to keep the Air Force flying for six months."
American influence

The parcel of land that was purchased is about four hectares, and the American Armed Forces paid for the Lake Bathurst site, as well as the other stores dotted around the country....

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