Wartime relics rusting away

AN Applecross resident is on a mission to have one of Fremantle’s last-remaining relics from World War II restored and recognised.

John Kostanic says the remains of a mechanism which once opened and closed a great steel net  protecting Fremantle harbour from attack by enemy submarines are being allowed to rust away on Fremantle Ports’ South Mole.


“I latched onto this because I have coffee with a bunch of friends and we take a spin to the docks on our bikes, and one day Ronnie says those rusty thing are part of the submarine defence,” Mr Kostanic told the Herald.

“After passing it 30 times I thought ‘something’s wrong here’.”

• John Kostanic. Photo by Steve Grant

Mr Kostanic wrote to Tangney MP Ben Morton, who’s thrown his weight behind the campaign.

“It is my understanding that this mechanism was the largest in the southern hemisphere and the second biggest base in the Pacific operation to Pearl Harbour,” Mr Morton wrote to federal veterans affairs minister Darren Chester.

“A small investment into preserving and advertising the history of this significant World War II defence structure will provide a much greater return in the way of historical value for Fremantle,” he said.

Mr Kostanic says it’s a “motherlode” of Fremantle’s wartime history.


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