Jezzine Barracks has taken out the Planning Institute of Australia’s national ‘Great Place’ award. Announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne last night, Place Design Group and Townsville City Council are thrilled to see this urban renewal project take national stage.
Judges commended the Queensland project and noted Jezzine Barracks provides a significant destination for the Townsville region and a case study of the benefits of robust research and meaningful community participation in projects that tie together new and old uses of a celebrated site.
Wal Smith, Place Design Group Director and Project Landscape Architect for the redevelopment said “We are humbled and delighted that Jezzine Barracks has triumphed over the best throughout Australia to take out the PIA “Great Place” national award. Whilst another great success story for Queensland it is also a tremendous accolade for Regional Queensland and Townsville in particular.
“The unique site is steeped in Indigenous and Military history which made for a magnificent opportunity to showcase the sites many and varied attributes, whilst keeping the parklands in the public realm. Jezzine Barracks is a true urban renewal success and we are very proud to have been a part of its creation,”
Previously home to 31st Battalion (nee Kennedy Regiment) for over 120 years, and home of the local traditional owner clans before them, the 15 hectare site has gone through a significant urban change to be transformed from a military barracks into a public parkland overlooking the Coral Sea.
Jezzine Barracks is a natural extension of the recreational activities of Townsville and plays a pivotal role in tourism growth and historic remembrance for the area. With joint funding from the Commonwealth of Australia, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council, the parkland development has not only opened up parts of the site that have not been available to the public for more than a century but has also carefully incorporated all abilities pathways to 99% of the site.
Mayor of Townsville Cr Jenny Hill, said “Jezzine Barracks is an important development for Townsville and for Queensland. The close working effort between the military and traditional owner advisory groups, the Community Trust, Place Design Group and the project team resulted in a fantastic outcome, and this national award is testament to this.”