COOBER PEDY News & Events


Map of Woomera prohibited area, for the purposes of ‘the testing of war material’

Please Note: HAYABUSA re-entry is here

The Defence Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) are scheduled to conduct the launch of a sounding rocket in the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) during the period 21 – 28 May 2010. 

 The predicted impact point is in a remote area of the WPA West of the Tarcoola to Alice Springs railway line.

The WPA is declared under Defence Force Regulation 35 as a prohibited area for the purposes of ‘the testing of war material’. From time to time other Defence approved activities, such as sounding rocket launches, are also conducted.

The WPA is located in the North West of the State of South Australia and is approximately 127,000 square kilometres (12.7 million hectares) in area. Its South Eastern corner is located approximately 450 kilometres North West of Adelaide.

Members of the public traversing the WPA via the Stuart Highway and Coober Pedy to William Creek road are reminded that these roads are part of a prohibited area and that they are not to deviate from them.

Other roads and tracks entering the WPA are signposted to the effect that the WPA is a prohibited area and no person shall enter, be or remain therein without proper authorisation.

Penalty for unauthorised entry is $2200 fine and/or six months imprisonment under Defence Force Regulation 35. Under Section 82(1) and 82(2) of the Defence Act 1903, it is illegal to photograph, draw, sketch or paint any part of a Defence Installation or enter a defence installation with materials or apparatus for carrying out such activities, without lawful authority.

Members of the public traversing the Anne Beadell Highway from Coober Pedy to Emu Junction are reminded that in addition to a permit being required from the Area Control Officer – Woomera, a permit is required from:

Unnamed Conservation Park Department for Environment Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs PO Box 569 CEDUNA SA 5690 Phone (08) 8625 3144.  Maralinga Tjarutja Lands Administrator Maralinga Tjarutja Lands PO Box 435 CEDUNA SA 5690 Phone (08) 8625 2946.  Tallaringa Conservation Park Department for Environment Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs 9 Mackay Street PORT AUGUSTA SA 5700 Phone (08) 8648 5300

There may be some items such as cylindrical rocket motor cases and nozzles, flat rectangular pieces of metal, spherical tanks, military projectiles or unexploded ammunition encountered in the WPA.

If any unusual item is encountered it must not be handled as it may be extremely dangerous and could cause serious injury or death. Note the description and location of the item and report it to the Pastoral Station Manager or the Area Control Officer Woomera – Telephone (08) 8674 3370.

Within the WPA there are sites of significance to indigenous people. These sites are protected under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 with penalties of up to $50,000.00 for causing damage to or removing items from these sites.

Inquires in relation to the use of or entry into the WPA should be directed to: Area Control Officer – Woomera Aerospace Operational Support Group Defence Centre PO Box 157 WOOMERA SA 5720 Phone (08) 8674 3370