$100 Million Aquarium Proposed for South Bank

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Chengdu Aquarium. Source: Crossley Architects

A world-class aquarium is part of a proposed $100 million redevelopment of the Queensland Maritime Museum on Brisbane’s South Bank being progressed through the Palaszczuk Government’s Market-Led Proposal initiative.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the proposal for the museum and aquarium project suggested it could attract up to 750,000 visitors a year and contribute up to $200 million a year to the Queensland economy.

“This is an exciting proposal that will provide another important drawcard for more tourists and more jobs,” the Premier said.

Deputy Premier and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said the project would be right in the popular South Bank Parklands precinct and linked to the planned Queen’s Wharf entertainment precinct by the existing Goodwill Bridge.

“The proponents will have to demonstrate how the project will incorporate existing heritage buildings on the site, and enhance, not detract from, the surrounding area,” the Deputy Premier said.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the project had been proposed by the Queensland Maritime Museum (QMM), in partnership with Advanced Aquarium Technologies and Crossley Architects, through the Market Led Proposal program managed by Queensland Treasury.

“The State government has now approved the project to move from the initial assessment stage to the second stage of the MLP process, and undergo detailed assessment,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is the third MLP project that has progressed from the initial assessment stage to detailed assessment. The MLP projects to move into detailed assessment promise an extra $650 million in investment and more than 1600 new jobs in Queensland.

“Through our Market-Led Proposals initiative we are working in cooperation with the private sector to get major projects backed by major investors off the ground quickly while creating jobs now and for the future.

“The Port of Brisbane is already in the process of preparing detailed proposals for its proposed $100 million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal creating 300 construction jobs.

“Transurban Queensland has also selected two firms — CPB Contractors Pty Limited and John Holland Queensland Pty Ltd — as shortlisted bidders for the design and construction of the $450 million Logan Motorway Enhancement Project that will generate 1,300 jobs.”

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the proposal has the potential to continue the transformation of Brisbane as a must-see tourist destination.

“A development such as this would celebrate the wealth of Queensland’s maritime history and showcase the diversity of our rivers, islands, reefs and ocean environments,” she said.

“More Australians are choosing Queensland than ever before and we are getting record numbers of international visitors.

“Domestic visitors to Brisbane increased by 11% to 5.8 million over the last 12 months. Those visitors spent $3.6 billion during their stay, representing an increase of 12%.

“This proposal will further boost Brisbane’s attractiveness as a tourist destination and help us continue to attract more visitors and more jobs.”

Mr Pitt said the Market-Led Proposals framework provided a staged approach to assessing new ideas brought forward to the government by the private sector.

“While initial ideas may have great potential, there are always a number of requirements that must be met before the government is in a position to approve any development,” he said.

“At the same time the government will assess the suitability of the proposed site and when we have a detailed proposal and design to share we will also consult with local residents and businesses, as required by legislation.

“We need to assess the detailed proposal and hear what the community says about this development before we can give it the go-ahead.”

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