The Brisbane River has long been one of our city’s most instantly recognisable natural assets. We are known as ‘The River City’ after all.
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However, while you could say our river is one of our definitive icons, I feel there’s more that can be done to maximise the economic and recreational benefits it offers. That’s why my team has unveiled an ambitious, but achievable, plan to boost the amount of available activities and business opportunities on the River’s edge.
For a long time many of the current attractions and activities on our river have grown organically. For example, the Brisbane River obviously plays a vital role in helping to reduce congestion on our roads through our popular CityCat and CityFerry networks. And since their introduction they’ve also morphed into a unique way of seeing Brisbane for visitors to our city.
But it wasn’t until last year when my team took some of our older, under-performing CityFerries and turned them into the free CityHopper tourist loop that Brisbane had its first dedicated ferry-tourism experience, which has now carried over one million passengers in just over 12 months in operation.
Another example is our restoration of the old Howard Smith Wharves, which will not only see these historic structures retained for future generations, but also opened up to possible retail, dining or tourism opportunities once Riverwalk and the surrounding parklands project are complete.
It’s these types of strategic, controlled growth opportunities our River’s Edge Strategy is all about.
We’ve outlined a range of short, medium and long-term projects that we would like to see delivered between Council, State Government and the private sector over the next 10 years. This includes everything from more dining and café opportunities along the Brisbane River, additional riverside walking and cycling loops and transforming defunct Council assets such as old ferry terminals into viewing platforms and inner-city moorings for recreational river activities through to creating iconic tourism attractions such as the much-talked about zip line between Kangaroo Point and the City Botanic Gardens.
We’ve also worked hand-in-hand with you, the residents of Brisbane, to finalise our strategy, with each of the proposed projects and proposals suggested and selected by you. In fact, we received about 2500 responses to the plan in total and I thank you for your participation.
Proactive long-term planning is essential to securing the best outcomes for the future of our city and our River’s Edge strategy is just one of a number of ways I am delivering on my promise to boost economic development in this city.
Without a strong commitment to future planning in this city, Brisbane will be left behind and our economy will suffer.
And that’s exactly why my team has drawn up this innovative strategy for our River’s edge, which not only aims to generate greater interest in Brisbane, but greater investment as well.
Visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au to download your copy of Council’s River’s Edge Strategy today.
Share your thoughts on what our Brisbane River should be used for and represent in the comments box below.