Drift Restaurant to be moved in interest of public safety

Published Tuesday, 22 March, 2022 at 06:05 PM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

The Deputy Premier has directed the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) to use its powers under the QRA Act to stabilise and make safe the damaged Drift Restaurant structure after an independent engineering report found it posed a significant public safety risk and could collapse.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the QRA Steven Miles said he was concerned by the findings of an engineering report, as the stabilisation of the structure was critical to restore the safety of not only the bikeway, but the Brisbane River.

“Most people have seen images of Drift impaled on river pilings at Milton during the unprecedented rain event,” Mr Miles said.

“The 200-tonne structure is currently preventing the community walking, bike riding and scooting safely on the bikeway.

“An independent engineering report highlighted serious safety issues and stated that ‘in its current state, the pontoon is considered to be at risk of immediate and sudden collapse’.

“The Queensland Government is concerned by the findings within this report, and I’ve directed QRA to exercise its powers under the QRA Act to work with MSQ to undertake emergency stabilisation and remediation works.”

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the structure posed a risk to safety and caused an exclusion zone to be issued on the Brisbane River by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Maritime Safety Queensland Branch (MSQ).

“The independent report recommended immediate actions to secure the site and return safe access to the waterway and bikeway,” Mr Bailey said.

“We have a duty to ensure the safety of the local community and to see essential public assets, like the bikeway and Brisbane River, restored, and hazards appropriately managed.”

The QRA Act came into effect on 21 February 2011 to ensure Queensland and its communities can recover from the impacts of disaster events.

The QRA Act includes powers to declare reconstruction areas and critical infrastructure projects and undertake works where it is necessary to facilitate, amongst other reasons, the protection, rebuilding and recovery of an affected community. 

These powers have been exercised only once before when, following the 2011 floods, QRA was directed to undertake works, under section 96, to repair and restore the Toowoomba water pipeline which was heavily damaged during the 2011 floods.

The QRA are firm supporter of small businesses, having worked with the Queensland and Australian Governments recently to unlock hardship grants of up to $50,000 and low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by the recent flooding event.


Media contact:

Amy Hunter 0423 651 484 (Deputy Premier) 

Joseph Ogilvie - 0423 184 412 (Minister Bailey)