Bombing of the Sydney Hilton HotelPrint Page Print this page

Hilton Bombing : 24-September-2014
Hilton Bombing : 24-September-2014

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown / Peter F Williams

The plaque rededicated on the thirtieth anniversary of the terrorist bombing at the Sydney Hilton Hotel, commemorates those who lost their lives in the bombing. The original plaque had stood on the site of the garbage bin but had been moved due to a City streetscape upgrade and the upgrade of the Hilton Hotel.

The bombing at the Hilton Hotel occurred in February 1978. The bomb was concealed inside a garbage bin and exploded when that bin was loaded into a City of Sydney Council garbage truck compactor. Three people were killed (Alec Carter and Arthur Favell, City Council workers, and a New South Wales Police Officer, First Class Constable Paul Burmistriw) and seven more were wounded. At the time, Malcolm Fraser, the Prime Minister and eleven visiting heads of state were staying at the hotel for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

After the bombing, the authorities and the media immediately blamed Ananda Marga, a religious sect opposed to the government of Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who attended the CHOGRM summit. During 1977, members of the sect had been accused of several acts of violence in Australia directed against the Indian government. 

A coronial inquest was not held until four years later in 1982, although they are normally held within a few weeks. Stipendiary Magistrate Walsh found a prima facie case of murder against two members of Ananda Marga – Ross Dunn and Paul Alister (but not Tim Anderson) – based on evidence by Richard Seary, which was later discredited. The Hilton bombing charges against Dunn and Alister were soon dropped.  But Anderson, Dunn, and Alister had been convicted on different charges of conspiracy to murder Robert Cameron, Sydney leader of the Australian National Front. A Royal Commission, headed by Justice Wood was established into the conviction of the three, and recommended their pardon, and they were released in 1985.(This case did not directly cover the Hilton Bombing.)

Anderson was then re-arrested for the Sydney Hilton bombing, but this time he was acquitted in 1991 after the evidence of the main prosecution witness, Evan Pederick who also a cult member,  was completely rejected by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. Pederick had confessed to the bombing and was convicted and sentenced to 20 years without detailed scrutiny of his confession. He was released in 1997 after serving eight years of his sentence.

In 1991 and 1995 the NSW Parliament had unanimously called for a joint State-Federal inquiry into the bombing to examine whether there had been an official conspiracy. However, the Federal government vetoed any inquiry, and none has been held.



Address:488 George Street, Sydney Hilton Hotel, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.871863
Long: 151.207084
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:13-February-1978
Actual Event End Date:13-February-1978


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:Rededicated 13th-February-2008
Front Inscription


To The Memory Of
Two City Council Garbagemen And A 
1st Class Police Constable

Who Were Killed Here As A Result
Of A Bomb Explosion On The 13th February

      Your Workmates

                     L.F. Carter  
                    Town Clerk


Placed here on the 30th 
anniversary of the 1978 
bomb explosion

13 February 2008



Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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