Budget supports more suburbs with Free Wi-Fi

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has lifted investment in economic development to $44.7 million this financial year, to create jobs, boost Brisbane’s tourism and economy as well as cement the city’s reputation as a New World City in his 2016/17 Budget.

Local residents will also benefit from the rollout of free Wi-Fi to a further eight suburban centres throughout Brisbane during the next three years to activate business precincts.

Cr Quirk said this expansion of Brisbane’s digital footprint follows the seamless integration of free Wi-Fi across the entire CBD to South Bank, as well as Fortitude Valley malls, Caxton Street and James Street.

“This Budget supports small business and nurtures innovation which means a strong economy with more jobs right across Brisbane,” he said.

“I’m continuing my $1 million investment over four years to extend Council’s current free Wi-Fi offering into eight major Brisbane suburban centres, which will encourage visitors to these centres and help stimulate their local economy by supporting businesses.”

Free Wi-Fi will be rolled out in Wynnum CBD and Hawken Drive at St Lucia in 2017-18 with further rollouts at Nundah Village, Beaudesert Road at Moorooka, Jackson Road at Sunnybank Hills and Boundary Street at Spring Hill in coming years. The Stones Corner and Sandgate Town Centre free Wi-Fi rollout was completed in 2016/17.

Cr Quirk said his investment of $26 million in 2017/18 would continue the delivery of the recommendations in the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, with a focus on investment attraction and jobs growth.

“The completion of the 2022 Action Plan will coincide with a number of defining projects that will place Brisbane squarely on the world stage, including the Brisbane Metro, Queens Wharf Brisbane and the second runway at the Brisbane Airport,” he said.

“For this reason, I will continue to invest in international event attraction for Brisbane, including hosting one significant drawcard event per month in addition to leveraging and activating other major, cultural, sporting and lifestyle events to drive visitation to the city.

“We expect to deliver a range of initiatives in 2017/18 including the Battle of Brisbane boxing event, the Global Rugby Tens, the Rugby League World Cup, Regional Flavours at South Bank, the revamped Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival and Asia Pacific Screen Awards.”

Key highlights for economic development investment in 2017/18 include:
• $26 million for implementation of Vision 2022
• $6.3 million for Vision 2022 Leisure Tourism, Conventions and Major Events
• $555,000 for Expo 88 Public Artwork
• $249,000 for expansion of free Wi-Fi into suburban centres