THE $3 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane integrated resort development is a step closer, after Economic Development Queensland last month approved Destination Brisbane Consortium's Plan of Development application.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, hailed the approval as a significant milestone for one of the biggest urban renewal projects ever undertaken in Brisbane.
"This is the green light for construction, the green light for jobs, and the green light for a new Brisbane. This approval marks another important milestone as the developer, Destination Brisbane Consortium, progresses this massive city-enriching project," Mr Dick said.
The Plan of Development is the masterplan for construction and will allow the Destination Brisbane Consortium to progressively build and develop on the site for the life of the approval. The plan allows the redevelopment of the former precinct into an integrated resort, revitalised foreshore for public use, repurposed heritage places and a residential precinct.
Mr Dick said during the 30-business day public notification of the PoD application, more than 200 submissions from the public were received and considered as part of the assessment, covering a range of comments, views and suggestions.
A panel of experts in architecture and urban design, heritage and archaeology, and traffic and engineering also provided specialist advice to assist with the final decision.
"This project is going to significantly shape and transform Queensland in terms of jobs and economic growth, so it's important to address any concerns and deliver great outcomes for our heritage, for new public and open spaces and for exciting urban design," Mr Dick said.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones described the approval as a leap forward for the project, which she said would be a game-changer for Brisbane.
Ms Jones said the public would also get early access to some of Queen's Wharf Brisbane's public realm with the riverside area between the Goodwill Bridge and 1 William Street, including Waterline Park and Mangrove Walk, also set to commence in early 2018 and be ready in mid-2019.
"The pedestrian-only Neville Bonner Bridge from Queen's Wharf Brisbane to South Bank has also been approved," she said.
"We have a once in a generation opportunity to create a destination that attracts national and international visitors to Queensland and creates and supports thousands of jobs in the construction, tourism, retail and entertainment sectors.
"In years to come we'll see as many as 2000 construction workers on site and when the project is operational, we'll see as many as 10,000 workers linked to Queen's Wharf Brisbane.
"Our prized heritage buildings will be cared for and Queen's Wharf Brisbane, with Brisbane's only casino, will begin attracting an estimated 1.4 million additional annual visitors.
"More tourists, staying longer and increasing their visitor-spends equals new jobs and welcome investment in Queensland."
Over 75 per cent of submissions received in the lead up to the PoD application approval were around the Bicentennial Bikeway and managing potential interactions between cyclists and other users.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the government would undertake a feasibility study to determine the best long-term solutions in and around the precinct to deliver improved cycling routes and accessibility to CBD destinations and may include an elevated cycleway.
"Cycling stakeholder groups will be fully consulted during the feasibility study, and cycleway improvements that follow would be delivered in conjunction with the Queen's Wharf Brisbane development," he said.
A range of stakeholders were involved in the assessment of the application including Brisbane City Council, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, South Bank Corporation, the Department of Environment and Heritage protection, the Queensland Heritage Council, the Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel and the Queensland Government Architect.
This approval will also allow new works to begin, including excavation for the car park foundations and basements of the hotels and public realm areas.
The Queen's Wharf Brisbane Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared by the State Government in November 2014 to facilitate the planning and delivery of the Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development and to establish the necessary policy framework to support the intended development outcomes for the site.