Vision for Brisbane to be Nation’s Cultural Hub


The Queensland Government has released plans which will make Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct the envy of Australia, cementing the area as the nation’s premiere cultural, entertainment and tourism destination.





  • Dramatically widening the arts and lifestyle offers and the audience
  • Involving the cultural institutions in unified collaboration
  • Attracting private sector investment in both buildings and programs
  • Creating a unified riverfront from bridge to bridge
  • Creating a cultural entertainment focus that complements the Queens Wharf precinct + collectively transforms Brisbane’s tourism ‘brand’


  • Estimated 50% increase in visitation (5>7.5m/pa)
  • Estimated 120% increase in retail revenue (2,800>6,100m2)
  • Outdoor events capacity for over 50,000p
  • Funding opportunity from two towers, one being a 5-star hotel


Gallery Riverfront


Museum Expansion


  • 2.5 x increase in museum size in four stages (20,000 – 45,000m2)
  • New 1500 seat theatre and enlarged Cremorne Theatre
  • QPAC ‘Lyrebird’ plaza turned into state-of-the- art covered outdoor theatre
  • Cultural Forecourt transformed into 10,000p festival arena
  • Three new riverfront outdoor ‘theatres’
  • All plazas programmed for other events and activities
  • Future major cultural facility designated on Kurilpa site 


  • Connecting the precinct with canopies and revised plazas
  • Linking into South Bank Arbour
  • New pedestrian bridge over Melbourne Street
  • New access ways from Riverwalk up to the cultural facilities
  • Visible architectural addresses to each building 


  • 80,000m2 of hotel/office/apartment potential in two towers
  • 6,000m2 + of new dining and retail ‘critically massed’ 
  • Plazas covered to attract markets, stalls, kiosks
  • Each institution developing strategies to increase industry participation + investment 


  • New ‘stand alone’ Sciencentre linked to Queensland Museum
  • Enterprise production hubs in The Edge, SLQ and QAG/Museum (shared)
  • Digital programming capability in all plazas to promote artistic innovation
  • Learning Centre in Queensland Art Gallery 

“The Master Plan is a bold vision to guide future development and investment over the next 20 years, proposing new theatres, hotels, dining and science facilities as well as a new learning centre,” Mr Newman said.

“We want to make what’s great about Queensland even better, and the economic advantages of a booming cultural precinct will be felt by all Queenslanders.

“The precinct is currently a magnet for cultural tourists, and we want attract even more visitors to Brisbane to enjoy our great arts scene.
“Each year, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre alone welcomes more than one million visitors through its doors, that’s half the population of Brisbane or almost 20 capacity games at Suncorp Stadium.

“This plan provides a blueprint to attract private sector investment and grow the two economic pillars of tourism and construction.”


Cultural Heart

Arts Minister Ian Walker said there was unprecedented public demand in Queensland for performing arts with people turning out in droves to purchase tickets for Disney’s The Lion King at QPAC and recent sell out, Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth at the Gallery of Modern Art.

“We want to keep attracting these magnificent shows while preserving what makes South Bank so unique and attractive.

“With the potential proposed by the Queen’s Wharf development, the Kurilpa Urban Renewal, and South Bank Parklands reporting more than 10 million visitors each year, the Cultural Precinct is an important jewel in the Queensland crown,” Mr Walker said.

“It’s essential that we plan for the future to ensure the precinct builds on its potential.

“The Master Plan will help us do this and ensure that it makes the precinct home to our major arts institutions, a vital cultural hub that will continue to be loved by locals and visited by national and international tourists.”

Along with expanded cultural facility buildings, private investment will also bring new hotels, pedestrian bridges, pedestrian plazas, retail and mixed use dining destinations.

Meanwhile, across the river sits Brisbane’s most anticipated development in the city’s history  – Queens Wharf which could see an integrated casino resort worth up to $5 billion build along George Street. Queens Wharf is planned to consist of new restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, hotels and other attractions connected to Brisbane’s train and bus systems by the new underground BaT line.



For more information on this project, visit the Cultural Precinct Master Plan on the Queensland Government’s website. To provide feedback on the plan you can fill out the Government’s survey here.

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By 09 reviewer(s)

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    This shows no respect or consideration to Robin Gibson’s original vision and concept for this precinct. It looks like a cluttered mess

    August 21, 2014


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    The only real criticism I have is the design of the hotel is not only hideous (that’s my subject opinion) but that it will date immediately. It actually reminds me of the current State Parliament annexes, which is known as one of (if not The) ugliest buildings in Brisbane. I would definitely rethink the design of that, and indeed question whether we really want such a high rise structure on top of our QPAC. I would also hope there’ll be enough greenspace/foliage otherwise all that cement will not only be an eyesore but unbearably hot year round, particularly summer. Other than those remarks I think it looks promising!

    July 29, 2014


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    Yes agree with some of the comments- Brisbane definitely needs this. We need hotels, entertainment and shows, etc. Basically the leisure industry will get a huge boost from this and it needs it as well. It will create many jobs in the process.

    June 11, 2014


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    this master plan includes ruining the design of several of the main galleries. Covered walkways into goma? A hotel ontop of QPAC?

    I’d love to believe its an honest plan for redevelopment but look closely and they are using it as a way to sell of parts of the Southbank Precinct to developers. Don’t be fooled by extra galleries – this government has slashed the funding to exhibitions at the galleries we already have.

    Having traveled to lots of galleries overseas – the spacial arrangment we currently have is worlds best, and we shouldn’t try and cram more buildings into the existing footprint.

    May 12, 2014


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    @ barwang – this masterplan will eventually be adopted by Arts Queensland as the official guiding document for the future development of the precinct, so I think that elements of it do have a very real chance of being realised eventually.

    That said, it is a 20 year plan though, so don’t hold your breath waiting for these developments to happen. It’s a long term proposal.

    May 8, 2014


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    "Death", or "God"

    Build it and they will come

    May 8, 2014


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    do it now – Brisbane is screaming for it!
    Many of the great cities of the world are on a river and we have th best of the best to take advantage of! look what Melbourne has don with the yarra – and it is only one step up from a p@#s trough!

    May 8, 2014


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    BUILD IT!!! 😀

    Watch out Melbourne, Brisbane is the future cultural capital of Australia!!

    May 5, 2014


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    Looks great, but is this going to be another talk-fest like Northbank?

    May 5, 2014


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Architectural design
Building amenities
Building greenery (Buildings that breathe)
Public realm / Street activation