Brisbane Metro industry briefing presentation by Cr Adrian Schrinner, Acting Mayor and Chairman, Public and Active Transport Committee video transcript

Read the transcript of the industry briefing presentation by Cr Adrian Schrinner, Acting Mayor and Chairman, Public and Active Transport Committee.

Scott Stewart, Divisional Manager, Brisbane Infrastructure

Thank you very much Minister Fletcher.

I would now like to welcome Acting Mayor, Councillor Adrian Schrinner, to speak. Councillor Schrinner is normally the Deputy Mayor, Acting Mayor at the moment, and Chairman of Public and Active Transport Committee.

Please welcome Councillor Schrinner.

Cr Adrian Schrinner, Acting Mayor and Chairman, Public and Active Transport Committee

Good morning everyone. Pleasure to be here with you.

I want to start by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land. I also want to thank my Federal colleagues here – Minister Fletcher, Ross Vasta and Trevor Evans. The three gentleman here in the front have been massive champions of the Brisbane Metro project.

At the local level, Ross and Trevor have campaigned hard and lobbied hard to get Federal support for this project but they have had an open ear from Minister Fletcher and the other senior members of the government and we really appreciate the support at that Federal level.

We now, in a really short period of time for a major project, have a project that has its construction fully funded and that is indeed an exciting thing.

I want to acknowledge my colleagues, Councillor Amanda Cooper and I understand Councillor Fiona King is here as well, my Deputy Chair, and also representatives from State Government.

In particular, representatives from industry that have travelled to be here with us today. We really appreciate the strong interest in the room and the full house that we’ve got here and it’s an exciting thing for Council to see the level in interest in this project.

Brisbane is just about to enter a particularly exciting and transformative time in our city’s development. The story of Brisbane has always been a story of growth and change and if you go right back to the beginning that has always been the case but there have been certain bursts in our city’s history of massive growth and change.

World War II was a massive period of change for our city – we were the headquarters here for the war effort in the Pacific. General MacArthur was here. We saw massive investment in our city’s infrastructure. We saw the city’s population almost double in a short period of time with overseas troops coming here.

We fast-forward then to times like the Expo 88 and anyone who was in Brisbane at the time would look back on that and know that was another turning point in the city’s history. Right now though, these next five years will be a transformation of that kind of scale.

Next year, we will see the staged opening of the Howard Smith Wharves Riverside Precinct under construction now. A precinct, right in the heart of the city, that will help transform an under-utilised, disused part of the riverfront, open it up for business and the community, providing new parkland and recreational space, new restaurants and conference facilities.

We will then see the year after, in 2020, the Brisbane Airport second runway come online. And that piece of infrastructure, fantastic that it’s privately funded, will open up the capacity constraints at the Brisbane Airport and see us through for many years into the future but will facilitate the growth in local tourism, the growth in local jobs and the growth in economic activity.

We will then see shortly after, in about 2022, the opening of the Queens Wharf Brisbane Precinct which in itself is a massive, more than $3 billion investment in the city and once again transformative project. A project that has its business case based on bringing business and tourists from other parts of Australia and other parts of the world here, and growing the economy.

And if there’s any doubt about the impact of a development like this, you just have to look at what happened in Singapore with the Marina Bay Sands development. We will see a similar transformation of Brisbane as a result of that project.

It’s all about going for growth – not growth in terms of the local economy but growth inter-state and internationally in terms of visitation. All of this extra activity and growth needs better public transport infrastructure and the next two exciting projects happening are Brisbane Metro and Cross River Rail.

Both of those projects will be under construction at the same time. Both of those projects will be delivered and operational within a window of around 2023 to 2024.

So essentially in the next approximately five years, all of that major infrastructure and change is coming online. I’m excited about it. The city will be a better place for it, but that critical transport infrastructure is going to be essential and Brisbane Metro is a key part of facilitating that growth and providing that new infrastructure.

As I mentioned before, in a short period of just over two years we’ve gone from a project that was a concept to a project that now has its construction fully funded and that is an exciting thing in itself.

In the scheme of major projects, they can often take a lot longer than that to build up momentum. We have the momentum now. We’re going full steam ahead with construction fully funded and the support of the Federal Government. This procurement process that we’re kicking off today, with your help, will ensure that momentum continues so that we can get on with delivering this project.

In the period of just over two years, we’ve seen the preparation of a detailed Business Base which included, as a key part of it, a really detailed options analysis and you’ll be well aware that the original Metro concept has changed significantly to what we have today.

I think that is a good thing. That is something that shows that we have absolutely been prepared to be flexible. We wanted the best solution to the problems and challenges that Brisbane has in our transport system at the moment. We also wanted the outcome to be the one that delivers the things that our city really needs for the future. 

So we knew that we needed to deal with the key bottlenecks in the transport network – the Cultural Centre Precinct, Victoria Bridge and Adelaide Street.

Our busway network in Brisbane is a fantastic asset for the city. It carries, right now today, more people than many heavy rail lines in Australia carry and the key constraints in that network limit its capacity for future growth. 

The busway, even though it is a fantastic asset, wasn’t finished properly. We’re going to do that with connecting up the missing sections in the inner-city.

We’re going to change the way that the network operates with the new metro vehicles, a more efficient operating model, new technology to help us make sure that we can deliver high-frequency reliable services.

In terms of where you can help as an industry, this project needs your innovation and needs your input.

We have obviously got a concept design that has been released and we’ve done a lot of engineering work and preparation to put that out but I have no doubt that the final product of Metro will change again and it will change because of your input. It will change because of the innovation that you can bring.

We’ve seen it on so many Council projects before where our original design was improved when we went out and worked with industry to get that innovation, to get the experience of actually delivering these projects and we expect to see that with Brisbane Metro as well.

In terms of what we’re after from this project – this is not an engineering project, it’s not even a public transport project. It is a project that facilitates the growth of the city and the efficient movement of people around that city. It has to be more than an engineering project.

The Cultural Centre station and the new underground Metro station that we want to build through this project is the busiest public transport station in Queensland. And so, we believe it is more important than Central station, more important than Roma Street station. This is the busiest hub in the network.

So we need a station that is fitting of that importance of station. This is Queensland’s number one station that you’re being asked to work with us to build. And so it has to be more than a functional station. It has to create a sense of arrival. It has to create a sense of place.

When you arrive the Cultural Centre Metro station, we want people to be impressed by that station as a destination in itself.

We need that station to have a bucket load of public art and impressive features that you can bring to us with your experience on many projects.

We want this to be a true statement for the city. And given that we are in the Cultural Centre Precinct, a cultural arrival experience is something that we are looking for. I can’t stress that enough. A bland station that does the job from a technical point of view is not going to be enough.

The other thing that we need here is improved public realm.  This particular precinct in the city is not only busy from a public transport point of view but it’s busy from a pedestrian and cyclist point of view as well. It’s the gateway to a number of key hubs in the city.

Not only are people getting off at the Cultural Centre to visit the Cultural Centre, the museum and the other facilities nearby – South Bank.

There’s also around 20,000 per day who walk across Victoria Bridge to get to the city and that in itself is something critically important.

So, creating a much more pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment is going to be critical.

Creating public space that benefits the city is going to be critical as well.

So when it comes to the vehicles, we are looking for something that Australia has not seen before. We want the cutting-edge technology from around the world, when it comes to vehicles, to be put forward to us for Brisbane Metro.

We’ve seen some of the vehicles that are on offer around the world and we’re excited about those. We’ve also seen the fast-moving of technology in this space as well.

You would have seen examples around the world, particularly in China at the moment, of a vehicle that looks similar to the ones we’ve got here that is fully autonomous, fully electric. This is the type of thing we are going to see in the future.

We are going into this with an agnostic view on what the power train of the vehicle will be but we are absolutely willing to consider all options. So whether it’s a straight diesel, a Euro Six Diesel, or whether it’s a hybrid, or whether it’s a fully electric vehicle – we are wanting to consider all of those options.

We are excited about the future of these vehicles and what technology is on offer but we’re also excited about the passenger experience that they can offer.

We don’t want people to get on these vehicles and have a standard busway experience. We want them to feel like they’re getting on to a modern tram kind of vehicle and that is the experience we are going for with these vehicles.

Looking forward to seeing what the market has to offer. Looking forward to working with industry in this space.

I’m going to hand over shortly to our Project Director, Steve Hammer, who is going to take you through in more detail and then importantly we’re going to go into questions and answers.

So thank you once again for being here. As you can tell, I’m excited about this project. I believe in this project. Council believes in this project and finally I wanted to stress the importance of the State’s support for this project and thank the State Government for their support.

We obviously are working on their infrastructure.

I’m pleased to say that the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, supports this project. The Deputy Premier supports this project. The Minister for Transport supports this project. The Project is listed in the State Infrastructure Plan; it is listed in the South-East Queensland Regional Plan.

We have the State on-board for this project and now it’s a matter of going forward with them, working through any issues and challenges that will come up during that process but I am absolutely confident that we’ve got a project that has the support of all three levels of government and has a massive amount of momentum right now and today will signal the next phase in building further momentum.

Thank you ladies and gentleman. It’s a pleasure to be here with you and thank you very much for coming.

Last updated:2 May 2019