You are invited to help celebrate the reopening of City Hall

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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City Hall has returned to the people! On Saturday our grand old building reopened its historic doors to the public following three gruelling years of major renovations to save the iconic building. And we couldn’t have done it without your support. It’s been nothing less than inspiring the way the people of Brisbane have come together and rallied behind this once-in-a-generation project. I therefore encourage you to come in and see for yourself the hard work that everyone involved has put in.

There’s certainly a number of new additions for you to check out, including the installation of 8500 LED lights on the main auditorium’s ceiling that allows it to change colours for different events, the relocation of the Museum of Brisbane to the building’s roof level, and the reopening of many rooms which had previously been locked off for decades. Events will also be a lot better catered with the installation of City Hall’s first commercial kitchen. It boggles the mind how so many great events were previously held here without it! However, we’ve gone out of our way to ensure these modern features complement the building’s old world charm and, in some cases, even improve it by undertaking finishing touches that just weren’t possible during its construction in the depression years of the 1920s and 1930s.

Ironically, you may not even notice the biggest changes. It’s easy to forget, but three years ago we faced what seemed to be a near-impossible task of rescuing our iconic building and the majority of the $215million restoration has been about ensuring its foundations stand strong for another 80 years and beyond. I’d also like to thank Her Excellency Governor of Queensland Penelope Wensley AC, Premier Campbell Newman and the federal government for all their support during the project and for helping me rededicate the building to the people of this wonderful city. There are events still being held to celebrate City Hall’s reopening if you’re quick. Hope to see you around the corridors and say hello!

Bus review
You may have heard the state government has handed its review of Brisbane’s bus services over to the council. This will apply only to Brisbane City and the state government, through Translink, will continue to undertake this review outside Brisbane. Since 2004 patronage on Brisbane’s buses has grown from 48 million to 80 million – one of the largest increases anywhere in the modern world. I’ve made the decision to take Translink’s proposals off the table and start the review from scratch. Like any organisation it is important to examine the efficiency of their operations. This review will certainly do that and the state Transport Minister has given Brisbane City Council until 1 June this year to announce any changes.

Over the coming weeks council will prepare any proposed changes and those proposals are expected to be made public on 22 April. From that date Brisbane residents will have a month to submit submissions up to 20 May. Keep an eye out for more information as it comes to hand. We welcome all suggestions for changes but the timeframe set for the review is tight. Cost will also be a significant consideration. Nobody wants to see a return to the 15 per cent fare increases imposed by the previous Labor state government and this review will be responsibly managed.