Defence Equipment for Public Display

There has been some general interest expressed by Returned and Services Leagues  (RSLs) and other community and heritage organisations seeking surplus Defence Equipment for public display. Therefore, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence has advised of the Department of Defence’s disposal process pertaining to equipment with historical significance.


During the disposal planning process of surplus equipment, Defence assesses if the asset has heritage value and may be worthy of preservation in Defence or Commonwealth museums, or is otherwise valuable to heritage and community organisations external to defence. In cases where it can be demonstrated that an asset has historic or cultural significance, the Australian War Memorial is consulted for advice. The priority order for allocation of historically significant assets is:


–          The Australian War Memorial

–          Internal Defence Service Museums or Service units for historical display;

–          External Commonwealth or State Territory-controlled museums; and

–          External community and heritage organisations, including RSLs.


Should surplus Defence equipment with historical significance become available, the announcement for sale to community and heritage organisations is made via a Request for Offer process. Offers are evaluated with criteria which aim to achieve the best net outcome for the Commonwealth and Defence as well as support preservation of military heritage.


As a general rule, the recipient organisations pay for all direct costs in acquiring the surplus Defence equipment, including obtaining re-transfer approval, demilitarising and preparing for display, removing or sealing hazardous materials, transport to display location, ongoing management and preservation of the equipment; but not usually the administrative costs of Defence staff time and travel. For equipment originated from the United States, transfer to recipient organisations is subject to United States International Traffic in Arms Regulations approval.


Defence maintains a record of expressions of interest for surplus equipment. Heritage and community organisations are welcome to register their interest in specific equipment by accessing the Register of Interest application form at the Australian Military Sales Office Disposals and Sales Internet website:


The Australian Military Sales Office will notify those organisations on its record when the Request for Offer for the surplus heritage equipment of interested is released.


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