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The 1978 Military Occupation of Bowral


Early during the morning of Monday, 13 February 1978, a city council garbage truck stopped in Sydney’s George Street, outside the Hilton Hotel, to collect the weekend contents of an overflowing litter bin. Two council workers began to empty the bin, and as they did, a bomb hidden in it exploded, killing them both. A nearby policeman later died in hospital from injuries received, and seven other people were seriously injured. Inside the Hilton Hotel were eleven visiting heads of government—the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting (CHOGRM) was due to start in Sydney later that day. On Tuesday 14 February the Sydney Morning Herald announced that Australia was no longer ‘immune to the international disease of terrorism and violence’.