Nearly one year on and Brisbane’s largest excavation – the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort site – has rapidly changed with more than 300,000 cubic metres of rubble already removed.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the progress made over the last year was proof of the government’s commitment to creating jobs in Queensland.
“This is a game-changer for Brisbane. We already have more than 120 workers on site with as many as 2000 expected by peak construction,” the Premier said.
“‘I worked on Queen’s Wharf’ will be the proud boast of thousands of Queenslanders in years to come.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said Queen’s Wharf was transforming Brisbane.
“The footage released shows we’ve made huge headway in 12 months,” she said.
“And in months to come we’ll see even more action on the site as we complete the biggest excavation project in Brisbane’s history.
“Queen’s Wharf will create as many as 10,000 jobs once it’s operational.
“We’re committed to delivering new infrastructure that will grow our tourism industry and create jobs in the future.”
QWB’s excavation pit is currently at 22 metres and expected to reach 26 metres at its deepest.
The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director Queensland Geoff Hogg agreed the changes to the CBD skyline on the northside of the Brisbane River was ‘nothing short of extraordinary’.
“It’s hard to believe two years ago this space held three government buildings,” Mr Hogg said.
“Today, the area is a major working pit with the surrounding heritage buildings clearly visible and highlighting a bygone era that we look forward to bringing back to life through careful restoration and conversion into exciting dining, shopping, and cultural tourism offerings in the future.”
International visitor numbers to Queensland grew by five per cent for the year ended September 2018 to 2.8 million, with visitor spend also up by 12 per cent to $5.9 billion.
Meanwhile, domestic visitor numbers to Queensland increased three per cent in the same period to 22.8 million, with their spend up by 12 per cent to $17.6 billion.
With a diverse range of premium dining, shopping, entertainment, and accommodation options on the way, Queen’s Wharf is expected to generate an extra 1.39 million visitors a year and deliver a $1.69 billion annual increase in Queensland tourism spend.
Destination Brisbane Consortium Project Director Simon Crooks said the excavation work, which will see around 400,000 cubic metres of material removed from the site, was on track to be completed around August this year.
“Towards the end of excavation, we will begin foundations at the bottom of the pit to enable the build of the basement, which will feature thousands of car parks for the precinct,” Mr Crooks said.
“The foundation work will be part of the tender for the main integrated resort, which will feature the construction of luxury and internationally-acclaimed hotel brands, The Rosewood and The Dorsett; and a double-tower The Star-branded hotel beneath our spectacular Sky Deck.”
Mr Crooks said there was an outstanding sustainability outcome for the project – about 90 per cent of the material from both demolition and excavation phases was being recycled, with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) being the largest recipient. BAC is recycling 50 per cent of the material for its Auto Mall.
“We are pleased to see this material, which has been significant in volume and therefore unique to our project, being recycled and reused to help build Brisbane Airport’s Auto Mall,” Mr Crooks said.
“So far, Brisbane Airport – through its contractors – has been able to recycle 40,000m3 of concrete from the demolition and 70,000m3 of fill from the excavation.
That represents about 16 and 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools of concrete and fill respectively.