Did you know that the historic Victoria Barracks in Petrie Terrace could be on the brink of a major transformation? The possibility of selling the site and opening it up for public use as part of the city’s sports and entertainment district has garnered significant attention. Tell us what you think about this here.
An audit of the Defence Department’s property holdings is currently underway, and this review encompasses the largely underutilised Victoria Barracks at Petrie Terrace, positioned between Caxton and Countess streets. The key idea behind this proposal is to bridge the gap between Roma Street train station and Suncorp Stadium, creating a seamless link for both locals and tourists.
The potential of this site lies in its landmark buildings and expansive open spaces, which could be repurposed to attract culture enthusiasts and tourists alike. Importantly, this redevelopment would complement the existing attractions in the vicinity, such as the Roma Street Parkland and the planned Brisbane Arena venue.
The need for such a development became evident when Suncorp Stadium was redeveloped without a dedicated pedestrian link for train commuters heading to Roma Street station. One solution proposed was to channel pedestrians through Victoria Barracks, an option that was also considered during the planning of Roma Street Parkland. However, the Department of Defence had initially declined to release control of the site.
In recent years, however, the Department of Defence has been contemplating a different future for parts of the barracks. It is exploring the possibility of transforming the site into an arts centre with boutique accommodation, marking a significant departure from their military past.
Adjacent to Victoria Barracks is The Barracks, a former police establishment converted into a thriving complex with restaurants, retail outlets, and cinemas, where the historic buildings have been thoughtfully preserved and enhanced. Its success story further underscores the potential of Victoria Barracks for a vibrant future.
In 2022, a report showed that the Department of Defence was cautioned about the deteriorating condition of the buildings, even while they were being maintained. However, pending the outcome of the property audit, the department remains tight-lipped about the site’s future.
Meanwhile, as Deputy Premier Steven Miles endorses the proposal, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has suggested that the federal, state, and local governments collaborate on a long-term plan for Victoria Barracks.
Schrinner believes that the site holds a pivotal role in connecting Suncorp Stadium and Roma Street, and its potential should be harnessed to its fullest, ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. Federal Labor MP Graham Perrett, a member of the Olympic organizing committee, shares the sentiment that Victoria Barracks is in need of rejuvenation.