Newman’s Massive City Renaissance Plan


Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has unveiled his plans for a city renaissance, starting with the city’s rundown government quarter.


The Government plans to sell off several state owned buildings along George Street and William Street to the private sector.

  • Buildings including the Executive Building will be demolished
  • Selling off land and leasing back from private sector is said to be a cheaper alternative to government redevelopment
  • New pedestrian plaza in front of Parliament House
  • New riverside boardwalk with leisure and entertainment facilities
  • Cultural hub built under and over the Riverside Expressway
  • Over 18,000 new jobs during the 5 year construction
  • Billions of dollars in private capital for new hotels, a potential new casino, commercial space, residential space, cultural facilities, entertainment, recreational and retail space
  • Government calls for redevelopment of state owned buildings on 80, 100 & 102 George Street

The plan calls for the strategic redevelopment of key sites in George and William Streets with a focus on mixed use functionality including commercial, retail, residential, hotel and cultural amenities.

“Importantly, it will protect and celebrate the heritage buildings in the area including the old printing buildings, Harris Terrace and the Mansions in George Street.”

Mr Newman said a key aim of the Precinct Master Plan was to start rationalising the Government’s office portfolio and revitalise the precinct through mixed-use development.

He said the State would underpin the redevelopment by remaining a major tenant in the Precinct.

“To start the redevelopment, the Government is now calling for registrations of interest for the construction of a new office tower of up to 60,000 square metres at 1 William Street.

“This vacant site, currently being used as a carpark, has been designated for government office development since 1974 and is the logical site for government administration given its proximity to Parliament.

“The Government will also seek options for the redevelopment and enhancement of 80, 100 and 102 George Street through an Expression of Interest process, providing up to 60,000 square metres of additional office space.”

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg said the Precinct Plan was an unprecedented opportunity to enhance Brisbane’s reputation as a vibrant city with modern architecture set in a well-planned urban environment.

“The last documented plan for the Government Administrative Precinct was in 1974, so this really is an area ripe for significant revitalisation particularly when considered with the area under the freeway,” Dr Flegg said.

“It will give the local building industry a much needed shot in the arm and will allow for the rationalisation and improved efficiency of government office accommodation within the Central Business District.

“It’s also the perfect opportunity to improve the traffic flow around the precinct.

“The sale of prime real estate also opens up significant opportunities for private sector investment in commercial office space, retail and residential sites.”

The Queensland Government Administrative Precinct area stretches from Queen Street to the Botanic Gardens, and from the river’s edge to Albert Street.


  1. Thank god! Some of those government buildings are just gross…this plan will surely beautify what I would say is the ugliest facade of the city.

  2. Yes Yes Yes, and if you have a look at the long set of steps going down to the river, i had a vision of this not long ago. It always seemed to be the one thing lacking with Brisbane, a big set of steps. It looks really good.
    Nice work Campbell, and pleased to see it wont cost ‘us’ much to build, we dont have alot of money so stimulating the market like this will be good.
    Not sure about building another casino here, i would have thought a peoples palace, a family place would be a better option, stimulate families to move from one side of the river to the other. We have a nice casino,. would it not be better to have a new casino out towards the river mouth, so access is easier by boats and cruise ships.

  3. Thank God! Those old government buildings are such an eyesore, unsustainable and would be horrible places to work in!

  4. This is great. Looks similar to a design I did for uni a few years ago. One thing we had though was the structure that surrounds the Riverside Expressway had “BRISBANE” in large bold letters, something like the Hollywood sign, but can be used for light displays at night and be the central focus during firework displays. If they incorporated this into the design I think it would be fantastic for tourism

  5. Lol, the river is blue in the vis… might not be on the cards…

    However, this is a bold plan which should work as a first step to getting better urban design and commercial hype in what is a total crap out part of the CBD. Oikster, I believe that the original design for Brisbane Square had a cascading step down to the river’s edge but was removed to reduce cost. It is good to see this connection included in this design, this whole bank of the river feels distant from the CBD.

    Regarding cost, I believe the masterplan is aiming to provide a cost neutral solution. However, I will need to see more numbers before I am sure of this.

    To all the haters, having a plan is better than having no plan at all…

  6. Looks good, will cost a packet, Newman is lying. Cutting back tea and coffee for government workers…. this will cost hundreds of millions, regardless of the sale of some nice real estate. By the way oikster, you are an idiot, shut up…

  7. With several Building lots up for sale and the high demand for new construction sites. The Government will do well from these sales. 150 million at least, this off set the costs. With removing the running costs of several buildings they may break even but would need to include private funding.
    Its alot like NorthBank as it juts out a long way but has no buildings. Those sections that poke out along the length really annoy me. It should be a clean sweep across the Rivers edge just like Southbank. This also helps to join both sides of the River with symmetry. Maybe there could be another pedestrian bridge half way running straight across to SouthBank creating a flowing effect for pedestrians to the whole plan. Nothing worse then having to travel all the way down to the Goodwill Bridge.

  8. Finally a politician with common sense!! At last we have someone that is reigning in government spending and waste and taking measures to ensure that Queensland is well placed for the future. The government quarter has been an eyesore for years and is in desperate need of renewal. Keep up the good work Campbell!!!

  9. Good on you Campbell for having a go! And for exploring private-public partnerships in this project. The Clem7 tunnel was a financial risk – maybeit was ahead of its time. It didn’t generate the revenue anticipated in the short-term, but i am convinced that in the future it will be carrying many more vehicles and be an essential part of the city’s transport infrastructure. This project is about creating space for private enterprise to take a calculated risk on making a handsome profit, while minimising debt and risk to the public sector and taxpayer. I’m sure there’ll be taxpayer dollars sunk in such a project, but not the whole amount. Why can’t this same attitude prevail at the Federal level in relation to the NBN project? The precise calculations around efficiency and management of financial risk are better handled by private enterprise than by governments. They will soon make it perfectly clear whether this is potentially a profitable idea or just a pie in the sky piece of wild imagination.

  10. What are these lights shining unto the heavens?
    what’s being done to solve the underpass problem? from the graphic it seems to be avoided by bypassing pedestrian circulation onto riverfront ‘pods’ via a big staircase.
    Why do we need big hoola hoops (barriers??) on the freeway?
    They look rubbish.

    Where/when can we access the scheme’s drawings?

  11. ^Angus, that design is actually a labor plan which Newman has used as a visual aid to give an idea on how this area could look. A design competition of some sort to architects and planners will be announced soon, so that is not the final design. I just hope it will compete internationally on an architectural level, in comparison to the boring new buildings that are popping up around Brisbane

  12. Sorry Anthony, do your maths, if you can, the public area parts of this will cost much more than 150 million, as the goverment cuts back tea and coffee for public servants. Nick13; you’ve bought this hook,line,sink…fool, Newman cant wait to spend as much as possible on infrastructure, monuments,etc. Duncan01; Newman is intent on appearing accountable, whilst spending as much on his shining castle as possible…he’s an engineer and he gets off on bricks, mortar and concrete…monuments are what he’s about, not society/people.

  13. Tea and coffee, no blacknganga your the idiot. Get over it..
    If you dont want progress, go live in Toowoomba. Leave the big projects to engineers. Your like a whinning baby. Tea and coffee, phhttt.

  14. Gareth- I read about CN’s intention to call for individual expressions of interest to design several of the commercial towers, but do you know if this will happen for the greater master planning also?
    It’s such a complex area and really needs an inspired contribution.

  15. oikster, engineers are the ones who delivered us the horrendous looking government buildings in the first place. They place practicality above anything else. We need good architects and designers if we are to create a people-friendly cityspace. Toowoomba is boring simply because it only ever used engineers…

  16. Angus- I do believe the whole area planned for redevelopment will be put forward to architects and planners. So a full master plan will be chosen from planners and the buildings on the individual sites will then be designed by different architects as well. CN has a vision, so hopefully he will set standards to which the designs will need to comply with in order to create a world class precinct.
    I also hope these new buildings will set new standards in green building design. Apparantly Queensland’s five star green rating is not by world standards. So a building that gets 5-stars here would only achieve something like a 2 in Europe (this is what I’ve learned, someone correct me if I’m wrong)

  17. I don’t care if it costs us millions or billions of dollars … these ugliest building of Brisbane has to go. I can confirm that these 1960s/1970s Government towers is a serious eyesore, and is an embarrassement if you view it as a skyline of Brisbane.

    These tourists who swim at a magnificient Streets Beach on the Southbank would look at how ugly the Government Quarter is as compared to the upper end of Brisbane CBD which it is covered in a newer, more modern and nicer look skyscrapers coating the historical Tresury Casino.

    If it what it will look like (the concept render picture) with these “earrings” overpassing the motorway … and then I will be so over the moon. Brisbane SERIOUSLY need a wow-factor and a significant modern revolution to its skyline.

    Brisbane is filled with so many new modern skyscrapers, ie Soleil, Infinity, One One One and these towers plotting along the Valley, Conornation, Southbank and Wooloongabba … but Brisbane still needs something like this.

    Southbank is beginning to be too “so yesterday”, and Brisbane needs a new Northbank and demolish this ugly Goodwill Bridge, and replace it with an amazing bridge – just like Kurilpa, with a incredibly unique design that will blow the locals and tourists away and be something that they will be proud of… as a Brisbanite.

  18. ^ You’re quick to equate ‘new’ with ‘good’ and ‘old’ with ‘bad’. It’s likely that if this is built, people in 30 years time will deem this new project as an embarrassment or a serious eyesore. Fashion comes and goes. Wait long enough and it comes back into style. Brutalist/Modernist buildings like these are already very fashionable again in the UK and are being heritage listed.
    A state shouldn’t pour endless money into a project that only a few people of that state will benefit from. These buildings are perfectly serviceable and are owned by the people of Queensland. They shouldn’t be thrown out simply because they are out of style. Who says we have the privilege to be so wasteful of resources just to make it pretty?

  19. I think thats a brilliant idea he should add to that and reopen the Northgate discussion and take on Labours plans for the Southbank extension. Bring it on!!!

  20. Tyson, I agree with your comments. Unfortunately, this state has a history of demolishing what we think is ‘old/ugly’ to replace with ‘new/modern’.
    Saying that, I do like opening up this area to the people of Brisbane and its guests. Southbank is a huge success and 30 years ago you wouldn’t dream of going there, now it’s a real asset to our lovely city. I think careful consideration needs to taken with the mangroves on the river bank. They are a vital part of the ecosystem and have their place.

  21. The photo you have shown is not “Newman’s plan” at all rather a concept image that Cox Raynor Architects drafted for the former Bligh government a few years back. Newman admitted this at his press conference (which I attended).

  22. It is finally good to see Brisbane moving with the times. Compared with Melbourne and Sydney we really are the ugly duckling. We need something that will make us stand out in front of them. This is exactly what we need!!! There is no good time to do it, it just needs to be done.

  23. WTF, Campbell Newman has horrible taste and for some reason personally decides what is good and bad. This is a ruse and nothing more, to pay back all the developers that paid for his campaign. The redevelopment look almost as bad as what’s there already…he is all about the quick action and blame game, without any realy thought of what is the best solution. He is such a shit talker

  24. Sole, Brisbane’s CBD is no uglier than Sydney’s, and Brisbane’s highrise are certainly no uglier than Melbourne’s…

  25. Btw, this has nothing on the massive Barangaroo parkland that Sydney is soon to recieve… unfortunately no other city can compete with Sydney’s physical beauty, to the extent that a visitor entering the Harbour would be viewing one of the asthetically finest examples of modern commercial architecture, mainly due to the Opera House and also the sculptural interplay of the magnificent Governor Philip, Chifley, Aurora and Deutsche Bank Place Towers… Melbourne and Brisbane are out of the prestige competition. Melbourne has to fight on with it’s array of avant garde edifices, and Brisbane with it’s uber-modern conformity

  26. Yes it looks lovely, but will it be a nice place to go with the road noise? They need to figure out how to make it quiet, then it could be really nice.

  27. Looks awesome that section of the city badly needs some TLC currently it looks bloody terrible lets just hope those retards that opposed Northbank keep there collective mouths shut heres a real opportunity to beautify our city good on ya Newman.


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