Parliamentary precinct named after Brisbane's birthplace

21 November 2013 2:29 AM

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Parliamentary precinct named after Brisbane's birthplace

The Queensland Government on Thursday morning recognised Brisbane's birthplace by renaming the new parliamentary precinct Queens Wharf Brisbane.

By Christmas the government will call for expressions of interest from the private sector to redevelop the site between George Street and William Street.

While the major focus has been on the possibility of developing a casino in the area, the need to recognise Brisbane's birth at nearby Queens Wharf Road in 1825 was the focus of a string of stories by Fairfax Media earlier this year.

The idea is to use a number of heritage-listed buildings on William Street - right where the first Europeans landed in what became Brisbane - as an entrance way to the city.

The proposal to recognise Brisbane's birthplace at Queens Wharf Road was backed by former Australian Heritage Commission chief Ken Wiltshire, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Brisbane Marketing.

This morning Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney acknowledged the idea as a positive move for the city.

"In May 1825 Lieutenant Henry Miller, a detachment of the 40th Regiment of Foot, and their convict charges constructed a wharf on the northern bank of the Brisbane River, later to be known as 'Queen's Wharf’," Mr Seeney told state parliament.

"Queens Wharf was the entrance to the colony and Queens Wharf Road was the access point for all the supplies that came into the colony into Queens Street, William Street and George Street.

"To better reflect this rich history of the area, the Queensland Government has decided to name the Government Precinct Redevelopment to Queen's Wharf Brisbane."

At least one company, Echo Entertainment, is interested in placing a casino in the area.

Mr Seeney said the new name better reflected the links between Brisbane's future and its heritage.

"The name change will also better reflect the project's contributions to Brisbane's emergence as a New World City and gives the area a clear identity that, in years to come, will be internationally recognised," he said.

"It will reconnect Brisbane's city centre to the river and its historic links at the Williams Street end of the city.

"Queens Wharf will one day become nationally and internationally recognised as one of Brisbane's icons."

Mr Seeney said almost 2200 submissions had been received during the consultation phase to redevelop the area between William and George streets.

He said there was now considerable international interest in the opportunity to redevelop the area of land.

"Government officers have engaged with a broad range of international developers to canvas international interest, and Madam Speaker let me assure you, there are more than two interested parties," he said.

"There is strong international interest, and national developers have also expressed significant interest."

"The EOI period is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2014," he said.

A decision on which firms wins the tender to develop the site will be made in 2015.


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