Council grants 2RAR Freedom of Entry

Date published: 24 November 2021

Fifty years after it was first granted, Council has today voted to again grant the Australian Army’s 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) the right to exercise its Freedom of Entry to Townsville.

Freedom of Entry is a right that is granted to a military unit by a local government – the right allows the unit to march through the city streets and is the highest civic honour a local government can give a military unit.

Mayor Jenny Hill said granting Freedom of Entry to 2RAR was a symbol of Townsville’s strong relationship with the battalion.

“Freedom of Entry is more than just a march through the city, it’s a show of our trust in 2RAR,” Cr Hill said.

“The first time Council granted Freedom of Entry to 2RAR was on October 15 1971, so this event will mark 50 years since the first Freedom of Entry was granted to the battalion.

“Freedom of Entry is restricted to Australian military units which have a significant attachment to the city, and 2RAR has an important history with Townsville, deploying out of Townsville to serve in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, as well as several peacekeeping operations.

“As a garrison city Townsville is deeply intertwined with all branches of the Australian Defence Force and has a deep connection with 2RAR and its past and present serving members.”

Cr Hill said the Freedom of Entry would take place this Saturday.

“2RAR will march from Strand Park to Jezzine Barracks Parade Ground on Saturday morning to mark the Freedom of Entry,” she said.

“The march will include drawn swords, bayonets fixed, drums beating, pipes playing and colours flying, as well as a challenge by the Queensland Police Service. It’s a real spectacle and worth getting down to The Strand to watch.”