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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Fresh Ideas for North Bank

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Fresh Ideas for North Bank

    The North Bank enquiry-by-design has produced 7 fresh concepts to revitalise the neglected stretch of the river, making it safer and more accessible to the people of Brisbane.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Paul Lucas inspected the work today, before it was viewed by the participants at their final workshop.

    “This independent workshop has proved a real breath of fresh air for North Bank,” said Mr Lucas.

    “No-one takes visitors from interstate or overseas to North Bank, it should be a place people want to go.

    “Brisbane now has real variety of quality ideas to draw on and make North Bank a place to be proud of.

    “The Bligh Government is committed to giving North Bank back to the people of Brisbane and now we have a range of options to revitalise this area into public spaces, offices and community facilities.

    “These concepts are designed to be mixed and matched, soon the people of Brisbane will get the chance to tell us what they like and what they don’t.

    “There were clearly concerns over previous designs but around 80% of the community want something done to fix the unsightly mess that is North Bank now.

    “I make no apologies for wanting to get this right and ensure the public has confidence in the design.”

    The designs include ideas for:

    • Acoustic cladding and lights under the Riverside Expressway
    • Floating restaurants
    • 30-storey building straddling the Elizabeth St off-ramp
    • Riverside bikepaths and promenades
    • A return of the tourist boat pontoons
    • State of the art disability access to waterfront
    • Boutique accommodation – including floating backpacker accommodation
    • Retail outlets and entertainment venues under the Riverside Expressway
    • Parkland on reclaimed land between Margaret and Alice St
    • Office accomodation

    “I want to thank all of the workshop participants for their hard work,” said Mr Lucas.

    “I admire their ideas, energy and enthusiasm for giving this unloved and unattractive part of the river the facelift it needs.

    “With more than 90 participants from 30 organisations and backgrounds it wasn’t always easy, but they came together in the spirit of cooperation to get the best outcome for North Bank.”

    The enquiry-by-design was an independent workshop drawing on expert planners, engineers and environmentalists, government agencies, the National Trust, Brisbane City Council and the development industry.

    Participants were split into 7 groups to work on a scenarios ranging from a smaller, landside development with reduced public facilities and a need for State funding to river-based commercial development and public infrastructure at no cost to the Government.

    Other scenarios included a heritage precinct scenario, a public realm setting and combinations of riverside and landside development.

    The enquiry-by-design made significant progress on the flood impacts of North Bank.

    A panel of flood experts established that an “acceptable” footprint into the river is:

    • 35 m wide x 290 metres long
    • 50 m wide x 260 metres long

    “This is less than half the footprint of the previous North Bank design,” said Mr Lucas.

    “These experts have also recommended that moving the existing City Cat terminal will significantly reduce the flood impact.

    “Their advise is that it is currently in a high flow area and should be moved downstream to a more shallow and slower flowing part of the river.

    “With these changes the panel’s modelling shows in a more than one hundred year flood, there would only be a 5 mm to 10 mm increase for the area upstream of the Grey Street Bridge.

    “They regard this as very minor, when traded off against the benefits of making North Bank safe and attractive.

    “I want to make it clear that any final design will have to go through rigorous assessment of flooding impacts, which would be made public.

    Following today’s session, a summary of the workshop’s designs will be available on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website.

    The community will have 4 weeks to provide feedback starting in mid July, after a draft report on the designs is provided to the State Government.

    Media contact: Matthew Klar 0437 435 223

    Design Scenarios

    1. Maximise public infrastructure funded by development in the southern part of the river with modest development on land-based sites

    2. Resolution of traffic and access issues, with significant public infrastructure and funded with development in south part of the river as required and on land based sites

    3. Birthplace of Brisbane. Upgrade of heritage area funded by commercial development in southern part of river as required. May include hotel

    4. Birthplace of Brisbane with minimal or no commercial development in the river, enhanced views from South Bank to heritage precinct. Public infrastructure funded by land-based development if possible

    5. Minimise flooding impact while generating some public infrastructure through development

    6. Maximise public realm for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and disabled access

    7. Maximise public infrastructure with significant development. Break up view of freeway on river’s edge. Highly activated public spaces.