Work has begun on the restoration of the ANZAC Square war memorial in Brisbane as part of the state’s $50 million commitment to commemorating the centenary of the First World War.
The Queensland Government is contributing $11.4 million to the project with a further $2.2 million coming from Brisbane City Council who will manage the restoration.
Minister Assisting the Premier on the Centenary of Anzac, Glen Elmes, and Brisbane Lord Mayor, Cr Graham Quirk, said the refurbishment of ANZAC Square was an important way to remember those who fought in the First World War.
“The memorial will be physically and symbolically refurbished, with both public areas and memorial elements renovated and rejuvenated,” Mr Elmes said.
“Critical issues such as water leakage into parts of the memorial space will also be addressed to ensure we have a revitalised memorial in place that represents our military involvement in the First World War.
“The purpose of the centenary program isn’t just to remember the past but to create a lasting legacy for all Queenslanders into the future, honouring a century of service and sacrifice.
“We want to ensure we continue to appropriately recognise and remember those who fought for our country, and to educate future generations.”
Mr Elmes and Cr Quirk said the full extent of necessary works would not be known until exploratory works are complete.
Cr Quirk said the memorial, which opened in 1930, was borne out of a society that gave and lost so much in World War I.
“I am extremely proud to be able to deliver this important project in partnership with the Queensland Government,” Cr Quirk said.
“Anzac Square was paid for through the donations of ordinary people who faced difficult times in the years between World War I and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
“Now in its 84th year of service, the memorial is in need of significant attention which is not uncommon in buildings of its era such as City Hall in recent times.
“Despite replacement of the waterproofing membrane in 1983 and again in 2006, water infiltration into the concrete and stone, and rooms and galleries below is threatening the future of this unique and much loved state and national memorial.”
The memorial will remain open to the public until after this year’s Anzac services. It is expected to be closed for up to six months from August to enable major structural works to be undertaken.