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    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Green light for North Bank design

    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Green light for North Bank design

    State Cabinet has given the go-ahead to a new design for the $1.7 billion North Bank development, Premier Anna Bligh announced today.

    Ms Bligh said it had been five years since North Bank was proposed and it was time to move the project forward.

    “The public overwhelmingly want action on turning this site into something of which we can be proud. Eighty per cent of respondents to the surveys backed getting on with the job.

    “What we have achieved is a crucial piece in the jigsaw of the new Brisbane.

    “Northbank will bring people closer to some of our oldest buildings, encouraging them to celebrate the historical aspects of the River City’s northern gateway, rather than scaring them away.

    “It is an area that contains some of Brisbane’s most historic buildings, yet 99% of people don’t know they exist.

    “North Bank will be Brisbane’s Darling Harbour, transforming what is essentially a no-go zone into a magnet that will draw people back down to the river.

    “We have worked hard to deliver a project that offers the most for the public at absolutely no cost to taxpayers. North Bank offers some amazing public facilities – how many cities the size of Brisbane can boast a 50m public pool right in their heart?

    “I understand that no one design will please everyone but what has been achieved is a fair balance that allows Multiplex to provide almost $300 million worth of facilities for the public.”

    Ms Bligh said construction would start by the middle of next year and be completed in three stages.

    Multiplex, which was awarded preferred developer status in March, adapted its original proposal after a month-long public consultation earlier this year.

    The refined design includes the repositioning of one of the commercial buildings closer to the freeway to significantly improve sight lines from south of the river and into the site’s heritage buildings and the City.

    All buildings are now set back at least 10m from the river, allowing a riverside public boardwalk along the length of the site and increasing public open space on the river’s edge. The height of buildings closest to the riverfront also has been reduced from 25 storeys to eight.

    A major public plaza now will be built in front of the Commissariat Store and National Trust House, re-creating the original relationship of these early buildings to the river.

    A public park at the Alice St end of the site has been added, along with the “missing link” of the bikeway from University to New Farm.

    As well as the 50m pool and boardwalk, North Bank will feature a pedestrian bridge to South Bank and a mix of public open space, offices, shops, restaurants and units built to incorporate the latest sustainable design features.

    An entry building will open on to a public piazza and there will be a new CityCat terminal and berths for tourist boats.

    Ms Bligh said concerns about the height of the proposed buildings and their relationship to the river needed to be put into context. To free up more public space, the tallest building will now reach 46 storeys.

    “That is less than two-thirds the height of Brisbane’s tallest building,” she said.

    “I am also advised that in terms of the river, the development would have no effects on current navigational requirements. “

    Ms Bligh said the Government and Multiplex expected to finalise contract negotiations within the next three months.

    More information: Premier’s Office 3224 4500