The next stage of restoration works on Brisbane’s historic Anzac Square is set to begin, revealing new historic details and giving the community access to some of the secret chambers underneath the Shrine of Remembrance.
Anzac Square is our official State War Memorial, honouring the lives of Queenslanders who have served our country in conflict and in peace.
The 85 year old structure has experienced extensive structural damage over the years and required urgent works to preserve its structure. Before Anzac Day this year, together with the State Government, Council completed extensive restoration to the Shrine of Remembrance and the Eternal Flame.
This included extensive repairs to the water-damaged sub-structure, refurbishment of the pedestrian tunnel linking Anzac Square parkland to Central Station and structural restoration of the Shrine of Remembrance.
All up, some 22,000 tiles were laid, new granite stairs were installed and new waterproofing and drainage systems were installed.
The newly restored Shrine of Remembrance stood proud during celebrations to mark the start of the Centenary of Anzac, with 40,000 people attending Anzac Day services.
We are now undertaking another phase of works, with enhancements to the chambers underneath the Shrine of Remembrance, which have been closed off to the public for some time.
As part of these works, we will refurbish the Shrine of Memories and Memorial Crypt, revealing the previously concealed historic 19th century Ann Street wall in the process.
Some of these chambers served as the RSL headquarters between 1986 and 2008, while other chambers have housed memorial tablets and honour boards dedicated to Queensland Units and Battalions whose members served in World War I. However, none of these areas have been publically accessible.
These restoration works will open up these areas to the public, with improved wheelchair accessibility through a new connection to the pedestrian tunnel and additional lighting upgrades in the Anzac Square precinct.
The Anzac Square restoration and enhancement project will add another 75 years to the lifespan of this significant war memorial and public space, ensuring it can continue to serve as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of all servicemen and women for decades to come.
Construction will commence before the end of the year and the works will be completed by Anzac Day 2016.
If you would like to learn more about the history of Anzac Square, or about the restoration works, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.