Council is working to ensure our history is preserved, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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Brisbane city has a rich history with many significant public historical sites that stand to remind us of our past. We don’t want to see these sites fall into disrepair so Council is working to ensure our heritage is preserved for generations to come.

I am extremely proud to announce that Council and the Queensland Government have commenced a $13 million refurbishment of the Anzac Square memorial precinct, the State’s national memorial for Queenslanders who have served our country in conflict and in peace.

This memorial, which opened in 1930, was paid for by 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 Anzac Square Memorial needs significant attention. Despite replacement of the waterproofing membrane in 1983 and in 2006, water infiltration into the concrete and stone, and rooms and galleries below is threatening its future.

This repair will solve the water problems and provide another 100 years of life for the memorial. These works, which will begin after Anzac Day 2014, will include the replacement of the structural concrete slabs and the repair of the memorial’s stonework.

We will also renew the internal elements of the Eternal Flame. The Queensland Government will contribute $11.4 million. In addition to Council’s $2.2 million contribution, $815,000 has been allocated for works to Brisbane war memorials in 2013/14.

Council has also unveiled the design for the transformation of the 135-year old Mooney Fountain Memorial Plaza at the corners of Queen, Wharf and Edward Streets. The $1.75 million project will involve creating a prominent space underneath the magnificent weeping fig tree.

The 10-metre high fountain became known as the Mooney Memorial Fountain in the 1880s, with donations granted to a memorial for James Mooney, a volunteer fireman who lost his life while fighting a fire in Queen Street in 1877. This transformation is expected to be complete by midyear and will highlight the heritage aspects of this Victorian-era public monument.

We are also restoring a late 19th century heritage-listed fence at the City Botanic Gardens, bordering Alice, Albert and George Streets and along the QUT and Government House boundary. Much of the fence’s stonework was sourced from the former Petrie Terrace Gaol and is a valuable colonial era asset.

The $192,000 restoration works will include repairing the stone work joints, replacing missing or damaged fence spears and replacing and cleaning stone work. Council’s restoration work will ensure that our city’s historically significant sites continue to contribute to the fabric of our city, providing a proud reminder of our past and present.