Let’s get fired up and ready to kick some goals in 2014, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on Council’s plans for the year.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Got a problem in your suburb that needs fixing? email me at lordmayor@bmag.com.au

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling reinvigorated because we have a big year working together ahead of us in the interests of Brisbane.

2013 was a great year where we hit many major milestones:

  • We saw the completion City Hall’s three year restoration and re-opening the building to the public on 6 April.
  • We hit a big infrastructure milestone with both of the Legacy Way tunnel boring machines breaking through the tunnel.
  • A new bus depot was opened at Eagle Farm, as well as unveiling new recycling facilities at the Willawong Resource Recovery Centre.
  • Construction commenced on Riverwalk to replace the old structure that was damaged during the 2011 flood.
  • We released some great planning strategies including Brisbane Vision 2031 that guides Council’s long-term vision for the city, and the River’s Edge Strategy to improve access and activity along the inner-city reaches of the Brisbane River.
  • I announced Brisbane as the new home for the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and we held the ceremony in our City Hall on 12 December.
  • I allocated funding in this year’s budget to accelerate the delivery of three years’ worth of backflow devices to flood affected areas into one year.
  • We also celebrated the Museum of Brisbane’s 10th Anniversary.

What’s more remarkable about these projects is that they were all delivered without impacting on the vital everyday services that Council provides to the city.

And thanks to this great momentum, we’re off to a great start in 2014 as well!

We’ve recently reopened the 73-year-old Story Bridge following a closure to traffic for the first time in 20 years in order to carry out vital road resurfacing and safety improvement works such as installing cat’s eyes and directional arrows. The resurfacing works were essential, as the previous surface was laid in 1994 and was approaching the end of its lifespan, and with more than 97,000 vehicles usually crossing this iconic bridge every day.

We will also see the $4 million refurbishment of Brunswick Street Mall to start to enhance the public space and bolster the daytime economy of the area. This refurbishment will include removal and replacement of pavers, improvement of lighting and public entertainment areas, placement of overhead wire structures for art installations and construction of small retail and art pods.

The reconstruction of the iconic Riverwalk will make some inroads as the structure begins to take shape this year, to replace the bridge structure which was damaged and washed downstream during the January 2011 floods. The 850 metre-long walkway will again connect New Farm to the Brisbane city centre, via the Howard Smith Wharves precinct.

This year we will also decide a preferred proposal to activate Howard Smith Wharves.

Early this year, Council will also consider the revised draft new City Plan after spending six months reviewing more than 2700 submissions.

So we’re ready to kick some goals in 2014.

Keep an eye on this column over the course of the year for more information on how these projects develop!