Edinburgh, South Australia

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AdelaideSouth Australia
Edinburgh is located in South Australia
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°42′S 138°37′E / 34.700°S 138.617°E / -34.700; 138.617
Population272 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)City of Salisbury
Federal division(s)Spence
Suburbs around Edinburgh:
Penfield Penfield Edinburgh North
Penfield Edinburgh Elizabeth
Elizabeth South
Penfield Direk
Salisbury North
Elizabeth Vale

Edinburgh is an outer northern suburb of Adelaide, South Australia in the City of Salisbury. The suburb was created in 1997, on land straddling Penfield and Salisbury, that was compulsorily acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1940 in order to manufacture munitions for the war effort during World War II, and later used for a number of defence-related establishments.

The suburb is dominated by the RAAF Base Edinburgh, but also includes the industrial precinct of Edinburgh Parks.


The area, as with all of the Adelaide Plains, lies within the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.[2]

Salisbury Explosives Factory[edit]

Once a rural area, this changed in 1940, after a large amount of land in the area between Penfield and Salisbury was compulsorily acquired by the Australian Government's Department of Munitions in 1940 to establish a munitions factory.[3][4] Construction of the Salisbury Explosives Factory (also known as[5]) began in November 1940. The architect Herbert Jory was engaged by the Department of Munitions to oversee the building of the factory, which at its height employed 3000 labourers and tradesmen seven days a week. The factory was completed within a year.[6]

The factory was one of many facilities created to ensure supplies for six Small Arms Ammunition Factories, which were munitions factories established and run across the country by the Australian Government during World War II. The site was chosen because of "its strategic position and its proximity to rail transport, and to a water supply and labour".[6] The factory complex included 1,405 buildings, and during wartime employed between 3,000 and 6,000 people.[5] The Penfield railway line serviced the facilities.[7]

Other defence establishments[edit]

  • The Long Range Weapons Establishment (LRWE) was established in 1947.[citation needed]
  • The High Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory, Propulsion Research Laboratory and the Electronics Research Laboratory, (collectively known as the Chemistry & Physics Research Laboratory) in 1949.
  • The establishment of the RAAF base was established in 1955.[citation needed]

The LWRE and laboratories became the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) in 1955, the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) in 1974,[citation needed] and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) in 2015.[8] It is now an industrial suburb, but is still dominated by RAAF Base Edinburgh, the DST Edinburgh site, with a few remaining sheep-grazing paddocks.

Suburb (1997)[edit]

The suburb was created in 1997 when it was split from the suburb of Salisbury, when the Australian Government decided that the Australian Department of Defence would rationalise the then "DSTO Salisbury" site and sell off about 70% of the site, and surrounding "Defence-owned" crown land, to form the "Edinburgh Parks" industrial estate.[citation needed]


In addition to the RAAF base and the DST Group site, the suburb is home to several of defence contractors, a number of automotive component and parts manufacturers (which supported the Elizabeth Holden manufacturing plant until it closed in 2017), and other industries (for example, a major Coles Supermarkets distribution centre), as well as the Penfield Golf Club golf course, a model railway track, a model boat facility, a pistol range, gemology clubrooms, and a few remaining flocks of sheep.[citation needed]

Edinburgh Parks[edit]

The City of Salisbury's website stated in 2013: "Edinburgh Parks is one of Australia's largest advanced industrial precincts and has more than 300 hectares of fully developed land available... It is a "$1.9 billion investment and comprises four precincts designated for aerospace and manufacturing, defence technology, logistics support and automotive industries... Edinburgh Parks industrial blocks are among the best value industrial land in Australia. The site is ideally located in a major industrial growth corridor connected by Adelaide's new northern super highway system."[9]

Organisations established in the area include: BAE Systems Australia; DHL; Inghams; MTU Detroit Diesel; Coles Supermarkets Distribution Centre; and Lockheed Martin Australia. The City of Salisbury estimates that over 3,000 jobs have been created in the area through the creation of Edinburgh Parks.[9]

The "Invest Northern Adelaide" website, a collaboration of the cities of Playford, Salisbury, and Tea Tree Gully, makes similar glowing claims.[10]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Edinburgh (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 September 2020. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ O'Brien, Lewis Yerloburka; Paul, Mandy (8 December 2013). "Kaurna People". Adelaidia. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  3. ^ Daina Pocius (28 January 2016). "Penfield township". Playford's Past History Blog. City of Playford. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  4. ^ Bell, Peter (25 June 2014). "Defence Science and Industry". SA History Hub. History Trust of South Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2021. This entry was first published in The Wakefield Companion to South Australian History, edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Edited lightly and references updated. Uploaded 25 June 2014
  5. ^ a b "Explosives and filling factory No.2, Penfield; [or] Munitions Supply laboratories Penfield SA. 1941-1946" (Photo and text). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Architect Details: Jory, Harrold Herbert (Herbert)". Architects of South Australia. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  7. ^ Walsh, Dave (6 August 2017). "Forgotten World War 2 Relics in South Australia". WeekendNotes. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Stop Press! Name Change" (Press release). 31 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015. As part of the First Principles Review implementation, from 1 July 2015 the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has been renamed as the Defence Science and Technology Group.
  9. ^ a b Commercial & industrial land availability Archived 2 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, City of Salisbury
  10. ^ Invest Northern Adelaide, Northern Connections