The Palaszczuk Government will take over the responsibility for the care of Anzac Square from Brisbane City Council, to continue safeguarding Queensland’s pre-eminent State War Memorial for all generations.
The announcement comes in the week before the full return of traditional Anzac Day commemorations after COVID-19 curtailed last year’s services.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the transfer of governance of Anzac Square from Brisbane City Council is expected from July next year, under legislation introduced into Parliament today.
“The City Council is currently the trustee of Anzac Square, but my Government will take over that crucial role via a new Queensland Veteran’s Council,” the Premier said.
“We will embrace the responsibility for day-to-day management of the Shrine of Remembrance, the memorial galleries and the parklands.
“This revered space is too important not to guarantee its oversight in memory of those who died.
“It continues the commitment we showed with our contribution of more than $14 million to the 2019 Anzac Square restoration when the heritage sandstone was enhanced, historic statues and trees were protected, ponds were repaired and undercroft galleries were upgraded.
“I encourage those who are able to attend the dawn service this Sunday at Anzac Square or elsewhere, with restrictions now eased for public gatherings.
“Whether it’s Lighting Up the Dawn at home, or attending services and marches around the state, Anzac Day 2021 will be a day to honour those who served.”
Minister for Education and Member for McConnel Grace Grace said Anzac Square was a treasured place in the centre of Brisbane to commemorate all Queenslanders who served.
“Queenslanders rightly expect the Square to be maintained with all due care and the Palaszczuk Government willingly accepts that essential task,” Ms Grace said.
Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs Bart Mellish said the new Veterans Council would also have responsibility for the Anzac Day Trust, including payments to organisations to assist ex-servicemen and women.
“The Palaszczuk Government made a commitment at the last election to provide an additional one million to the Trust for a new grants program to ensure Queensland veterans affected by COVID-19 can access financial support and ex-service organisations can stage COVID-Safe commemorative events,” Mr Mellish said.
“That’s in addition to the ongoing annual Anzac Day Trust grants program, which last year provided 204 not-for-profit organisations with reimbursements totalling $1.49 million so they could continue to deliver their welfare services for veterans and their families.
“Applications for this year’s annual funding, and for the extra COVID support, will open soon.
“As well as taking responsibility for the Trust and for Anzac Square, the Veterans Council will also advise Government on veterans’ matters.”