#Oakey Champion Newspaper
A new $8 million cafe precinct at Swartz Barracks is proving a hit with staff, but more importantly, has provided much-needed spending in the local Oakey community.
“We are thrilled 90% of the trades and specialist suppliers used for the project (approximately $4 million of investment) was sourced from Toowoomba and surrounding areas,” Commandant of the Army Aviation Training Centre, Colonel Eamon Barton said. “This was beneficial to the local economy, especially given the pandemic economic conditions during the build”. The new contemporary building housing the AAFCANS (Army and Air Force Canteen Service) features a two-story wall of double-height windows facing east towards the Physical Training precinct. Light and airy, it is a relaxing place to have a coffee or a bite to eat or to meet outside the office for more casual discussions. Completed by Estate Works, the project commenced in 2016 and was opened on February 8 this year. While the new building has been very well received by all at the base, quickly becoming a focal point and meeting place for the whole barracks community, it has also proved popular with visitors to Swartz Barracks. “The recent Tri Army triathlon on the 7th March saw AAFCANS serve as a popular choice for pre or post-event snack for those many visitors to the Base,” Col. Barton said. There is even a touch of nostalgia present in the form of a mural on the wall. “The Bell Iroquois Helicopter painting was painted by a local artist ‘Lowing in 1990”, according to Mr Tim Manic AAFCANS Managing Director. “Knowing its historical value to the base we worked with the builders to rescue, reconfigure, and repatriate the painting to form part of the artworks inside the Canteen.”
Pictured: An inside view of the Army & Air Force Canteen Service – Photo, Bradley Richardson
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