Don’t worry - Wodonga grenade is a dud

The training hand grenade found last week.
The training hand grenade found last week.

THE Defence Department will not search a Wodonga site for hand grenades like the one found last week at the White Box Rise housing estate.

Construction workers found the grenade on land near the WAVES aquatic centre on Wednesday.

BRB Modular safety officer Daryle Austin picked up the grenade and moved it under an excavation bucket for safety.

A defence spokesman yesterday said the device had been used for training and had not contained any explosives.

“The land was part of the Bandiana military camp and was used for the storage and maintenance of equipment and machinery,” the spokesman said.

“The property was sold by tender in 2005.

“Defence conducted some environmental investigations before the disposal.”

The spokesman said the site had not been searched for unexploded devices before the land was sold.

“An unexploded ordnance assessment was not undertaken,” he said.

“Defence notes that the item found is not un-exploded ordnance but a drill grenade that does not contain explosives.”

The spokesman said there would not be more checks of the site because the grenade found did not contain explosives.

He said the department was unable to say whether similar unexploded items had previously been found in Wodonga.

The grenade was removed for disposal.

The area is part of the White Box Rise housing development, and the developer has not commented on the find.

Mr Austin said several members of the public had spoken to him about moving the grenade and he had been relieved to learn the device was not “live”.

“At least you know no one was going to get blown up if they were playing with it,” he said.

“When I looked at it, it had clearly been moved around at the site and I think it would have gone off long before I picked it up if it was live.

“I didn’t want a kid grabbing it and taking it home and getting blown up.

“I couldn’t just leave it there.

“You’ve got a duty of care to other people and I think the action I took was the correct one.”

The Defence Department confirmed the device was a World War II-era N0.36M grenade.

People are warned not to touch or disturb any suspected unexploded ordnance.