There's an island off Queenscliffe, accessed by a bridge for those who play golf - through a checkpoint though - that is very very secretive. It's Swan Island and a base for the military who come and go but not via Queenscliff. Protesters occasionally rock up there and I think fifteen are in a court case at present. Men's secret business. Costs the government many millions a year. Anyway perhaps the kangaroos know more than we do.
Swan Island near Queenscliffe has become Australia’s finishing school for special forces and counter-terrorism teams.
from the Herald Sun newspaper:
A TOP-secret military island off the coast of Victoria remains a mystery, despite costing taxpayers almost $30 million dollars. The area has been a flurry of action since September 11 with the Australian Defence Force pumping at least $29 million into the compound since July 2009. Despite the multi-million dollar facelift, few people know what goes on inside the facility and which government department is in control.Gangland serial killer Carl Williams was removed from Barwon Prison and escorted to Swan Island with his father George in December 2008. He spent nine days on the military base giving statements to authorities before he was returned to jail.
Three SAS soldiers died on the island in 2007 after their vehicle crashed into the water when they were returning to base.
In 2010 it was rumoured spies from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service were using the 297ha compound along with operatives from overseas.
Queenscliff residents remain in the dark about the island and even local workers are tight-lipped about what goes on behind the fortified gate. “You never hear them and you never see them,’’ according to one Queenscliff local. “They (soldiers) keep to themselves and arrive by boat through the port so we never see them.’’
Bizarrely, the compound demolition field is neighboured by a luxury golf course but players must register at the military checkpoint before crossing to the island.
The base is protected by 3m barbed wire fences and boats are not allowed to approach the island. The ADF has refused to reveal what upgrades have been made but admits millions had been spent on what is one of Australia’s most top secret areas. No information can be found on government websites regarding the base.
Anti-war protests also shone some light on the facility after four people swam to the island in 2010, disconnecting equipment, including emergency satellites. Up to 15 protesters will appear in Geelong Magistrate’s court this week charged with trespass after breaking onto the island in 2013.
Defence refused to reveal if foreign troops such as US special forces have also used the facility.