Today is Brisbane’s first opportunity to view the planned transformation of the Queen’s Wharf precinct in Brisbane from an under-utilised government quarter into a world-class entertainment and leisure destination.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney today revealed the design concepts submitted by two major consortiums competing for the multi-billion dollar Brisbane Queen’s Wharf Integrated Resort Development.
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise this area to create a destination that not only attracts international visitors to our city, but also opens it up for the people of Brisbane to enjoy,” Mr Seeney said.
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“This redevelopment will bring thousands of jobs to the city both in the construction phase of the project but also in tourism, retail and entertainment during the life of the new resort.
“The Newman Government’s decision to proceed with the 1 William Street office tower to house a number of government agencies in a single building has opened the way for the redevelopment of this premier Brisbane site.
“After an extensive consultation period about the government precinct, the community’s views were translated into the vision for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.
“We are now fortunate to have two extremely committed consortia vying to put Brisbane on the world stage.
“Whichever project is ultimately chosen by the government, Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will build on the already great places in Brisbane for locals and tourists, and include a link to Southbank via a new pedestrian bridge.
“I want to thank the two consortiums – Greenland Group and Crown Resorts and the Destination Brisbane Consortium (Echo Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises) – for their exciting proposals.”
Mr Seeney said there was still a way to go for the government and the proponents to resolve the commercial and financial aspects of their proposals, and for the stringent probity process to be finalised before the government would offer a gaming licence.
“Today we have asked the consortia to share their designs and master plans for the precinct with the people of Brisbane and Queensland,” he said.
“This is their opportunity to describe how their projects meet the vision that was developed by the community, how their design respect the precinct’s heritage and how the range of attractions will add to the vibrancy of Brisbane.
“The Integrated Resorts being proposed by both consortia include world class hotels, restaurants, bars, gaming, outdoor public spaces and improved river access and a range of exciting attractions for locals and tourists.”
Mr Seeney said, under the close eye of Probity Adviser Len Scanlan,the State Government’s assessment team is continuing to work on understanding the detail of the proposals and a decision on the successful proponent is expected in the coming months.
“It’s important to understand that there are a range of criteria requiring assessment,” he said.
“While we expect that the proponents design and master plan may change as a result of the detailed design phase, the proposals are well developed in terms of mass, scale, architectural features and public realm.
“It’s encouraging and exciting to see that both proponents are putting significant effort into addressing ours and the community’s vision.”
A decision on the preferred proponent for the Queen’s Wharf precinct is expected in the first half of 2015.
According to the National Trust the name ‘Queen’s Wharf’ harks back to 1825 when Lieutenant Henry Miller, a detachment of the 40th Regiment of Foot and their convict charges constructed a wharf on the northern bank of the Brisbane River, to be known later as ‘Queen’s Wharf’.
The Queensland Government began public consultation on the proposed revitalisation of the government precinct spanned by Alice Street to Elizabeth Street and bordered by William and George Streets in June 2013. 2200 public comments and submissions were received which were reflected in a Precinct Vision and Objectives document which was made publicly available on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning website.
That process resulted in an acknowledgement that the development would provide a significant opportunity to contribute not only to the amenity and aesthetics of the Central Business District, but to the economy of the city.
Overall, there was universally a strong desire to create a landmark development on a world-class scale that would put Brisbane on the map.
Expressions of Interest were called to develop an Integrated Resort Development with associated gaming licence on the Queen’s Wharf Precinct in February 2014. From an initial four shortlisted EOI proponents, two consortia entered the Request for Detailed Proposals stage of the process in July 2014.
A decision on a preferred proponent is expected in the first half of 2015.