ARMY engineers have destroyed the Australian-built memorial wall at Tarin Kowt that carried the names of 40 diggers killed in Afghanistan since 2002.
Veterans Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson made the grim announcement in Parliament in response to a question from Labor Senator Don Farrell.
The wall also featured the names of 74 coalition troops killed in Oruzgan Province.
Defence Chief General David Hurley made the decision to destroy the wall rather than try to bring it home triggering a wave of protest from families, the community and the Australian War Memorial.
The decision to paint over the names and break up and bury the concrete wall was later explained to families during an emotional visit to Camp Holland where the wall was located outside the mess where it featured in commemorative ceremonies over the years.
Senator Ronaldson said all countries involved had been consulted by Defence and the parts of the memorial that could not be brought home (the entire wall) was disposed of respectfully on November 10, the day before Remembrance Day.
He said logistic barriers and the fact that it was not a uniquely Australian memorial were the key factors contributing to the destruction of the wall "in accordance with the wishes of the families".
More than 11,000 Australians signed an online petition to bring the wall home and private citizens offered money and resources to get the memorial back to Canberra.
Senator Farrell asked the government if any part of the memorial could be brought home.
The question was taken on notice but government sources indicated that some part of the overall memorial, probably the granite cenotaph, would be displayed at the War Memorial.
A digital record has also been made of the entire memorial that was built and maintained by Australian troops.
news.com.au 14 Nov 2013