Civic Square fountain set for a major facelift

Published on 01 October 2021


The City of Launceston will this weekend advertise a development application for the redevelopment of the Denham Henty Waterscape fountain in Civic Square.

The redevelopment of the fountain is a further component of the current City Heart Project which aims to create welcoming and accessible public spaces in the CBD and it is jointly funded by the Australian Government, the Tasmanian Government and the City of Launceston under the Launceston City Deal.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said this was one of many projects helping to boost the city’s liveability and vibrancy.

“The redevelopment of the Civic Square fountain is one of many initiatives within the City Heart Project, which is funded through the $536 million Launceston City Deal," Minister Fletcher said.

“The Morrison Government is continuing to fund the delivery of important infrastructure projects that help to position Launceston’s CBD as a vibrant and attractive retail and visitor destination.”

Minister for State Growth Roger Jaensch said that the project was another example of the State Government’s commitment to reinvigorating Launceston’s historic centre, making it one of Australia’s most liveable cities.

"As a long standing feature in Civic Square, the Denham Henty Waterscape fountain contributes to the community’s sense of place and I am delighted that it can be retained in a reimagined form," Minister Jaensch said.

The fountain was decommissioned in 2019 after it was discovered the fountain was structurally compromised and had a significant leak.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said a subsequent engineers report into the fountain concluded that the required remediation works would be so expensive, it was no longer feasible to repair the 1978-built structure.

"It was disappointing to hear that it the fountain was - ostensibly - beyond the reasonable scope for repair," Mayor van Zetten said.

"The fountain has been an iconic feature of the CBD for more than 40 years, but the reality is, nothing lasts forever and I believe the proposed plan to refurbish the fountain will be warmly welcomed by the broader community."

The proposed development will include a number of visual and aesthetic improvements - a large public greenspace that includes new turf in the existing fountain catchment, as well as additional plantings to previously established garden beds.

The top tier of the disused waterfall is proposed to be repurposed into a planter featuring ornamental grasses that will tie in with the facade of Macquarie House. This will also include a number of plantings that will hang over the edge of the top tier to mimic or replicate the flow of water.

The existing willow over the fountain will remain, however an arborist has recommended the removal of one neighbouring tree due to its rapidly declining condition. This will be replaced with a more suitable species for the area.

Mayor van Zetten said the updated design will ensure the themes of the space will match seamlessly with the broader Civic Square development.

If approved, the Council hopes to start work mid-October with an expected six-week build time.

The final project of stage one of City Heart will include initiatives to introduce greenery into the Brisbane Street Mall and the installation of street furniture around the CBD.

The City Heart initiative is funded by all three levels of government under the Launceston City Deal, with the Australian Government contributing $7.5 million, the Tasmanian Government contributing $5.8 million, and the City of Launceston contributing $6.1 million.

More information on the Launceston City Deal is available at:


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