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The Future is Bright with Brisbane-Live

By Sales IBA

In the late summer of 1986 the Brisbane Entertainment Centre opened at Boondall, exhibiting British Olympic, European and World Ice Dance champions Torvill and Dean. But, it was 32 years ago and the time has come to replace that Centre and all its wonderful memories with an aesthetically stunning state-of-the-art entertainment precinct as part of Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro. It will give Brisbane a new focus suggestive of Melbourne’s much-loved, much used Federation Square or, further afield, the famed Madison Square Garden of New York.

The new Centre is to be called Brisbane-Live. The Queensland Government has committed $5 million toward developing a business case for the proposal by AEG–Ogden, a subsidiary of the internationally renowned AEG, the world’s largest entertainment venue operator.

The existing Brisbane Entertainment Centre has attracted over 20,000,000 visitors since 1986 and the proposed new precinct will secure employment as well as constituting unprecedented urban renewal resulting in a superlative showpiece venue for Queensland which will attract world-class acts.

A significant aspect of the Brisbane-Live proposal is that it is transformational infrastructure which is market-led. Indeed, Harvey Lister, AEG-Ogden’s Chairman has ventured that it “is as exciting a transformative opportunity as we have seen … urban renewal that removes an ugly scar and replaces it with something to be enjoyed by future generations.” From a crucial economic standpoint, realisation of the entire plan is widely seen as helping secure many years of productive employment, not to say the development of venues which will enhance life for citizens and visitors for decades ahead.

AEG-Ogden’s master plan for the $450 million arena incorporates a Rock Club holding 4000 people, a massive amphitheatre for 15000 with a giant screen, as well as multiplex cinemas, bars and restaurants. A striking feature of the arena will be a sliding front wall which, when opened, will reveal live acts on stage. New hotels will be part of the scene, as will new commercial towers, up to 4000 new apartments as part of a 90 story residential tower. The heritage Roma Street Station area will benefit from the creation of a state-of-the-art dining precinct, while its parklands which will stay unchanged, will be improved with better access. Above the Roma Street rail lines, future cultural facilities are envisaged. Medical and educational facilities, including a campus, are foreseen. Above all, there will be ample public space estimated to be about the size of New Farm Park. To make best use of the magnificent Jacaranda trees which still attract such favourable comment from visitors coming from colder climes, a new water-based parkland called Jacaranda Grove is in the plan. The Barracks will be linked by walkways and cycle paths with King George Square and thence, onto Queen Street Mall.

In all, a stunning new area will emerge It is certain to attract visitors from afar, and inestimably benefit businesses, the local public and the image of Brisbane as an outstanding New-Age city. As Treasurer Jackie Trad says, the Brisbane-Live proposal could “reshape our city” The public is invited to comment upon this breath-taking new development through the interactive 360 degree website

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