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Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Australia

Picture of Unexploded Ordnance being disposed

Ammunition which has been fired, but has not functioned as designed, can be particularly dangerous as all the normal safety features have been overcome. In this case very little handling may be needed to make the item of ammunition function. This ammunition is known as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO).

If you should find a suspicious item, that may be UXO, do not touch or disturb it. It's been there for many years, it won't hurt you if you don't disturb it.

Contact POLICE they will arrange for military experts to attend and dispose of it.

Follow these simple ‘Actions on finding a suspicious item’:

  1. If a suspect UXO item is found - DO NOT TOUCH, disturb or tamper with the item in any way. This includes making any attempt to move the item to a 'safe' location.
  2. Carefully note the appearance of the item and the location. Take a photograph if it is possible to do so without further approaching or disturbing the item.
  3. If possible, mark the location so that it can be found later. Coloured tape or paint make easily recognised marker material. Note the route to the item.
  4. Inform the property owner, park ranger, prime contractor, site foreman or supervisor of the find.
  5. Inform the Police that a possible ammunition item has been found. They will instigate a request for Defence personnel to attend and dispose of the item.

Unless the UXO was deliberately disturbed (picked up, played with, kicked, thrown, etc), there are no known instances in Australia where an item of UXO has injured a member of the public.

The following pages of this website will provide you with a good understanding of what UXO are, where it is likely to be found within Australia and what you should do if you encounter it.