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World War II Volunteer Defence Corps, Cairns Control Room

Grafton Street, Cairns

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World War II Volunteer Defence Corps, Cairns Control Room; EHP

World War II Volunteer Defence Corps, Cairns Control Room

On the corner of Grafton and Florence Streets, Cairns, a former World War Two bunker has been re-invented as the Scout Shop, complete with an oversized fibreglass scout hat. It was built in 1942 as a civil defence control centre for the Cairns Voluntary Defence Corps. It was jointly used by police and ambulance and enabled the provision of a coordinated approach in the event of air raids. Munro Martin Park was known as Norman Park during the war and it became the location of a number of over 50 wartime facilities. These included a hutted camp, a US Navy Store and a timber radio tower erected by the Army. The building was designed as an octagonal reinforced concrete structure. On completion, it was fitted out with telephones and was used to coordinate air raid warden duties for the Cairns area. The building survived the many changes to the city after WWII and was handed over to the Scouting Association of Queensland in the mid-1950s, becoming its headquarters. The fibreglass scout hat was fabricated locally and installed in 1982. The Scouts have a long term lease on the property.

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Coordinates: -16.91942421, 145.77141619

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023