Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is investing more than $307 million over the next year as part of his 2017/18 Budget, to create new lifestyle and leisure precincts, boost vibrant local markets and provide better facilities and venues for all ages to enjoy.
Cr Quirk said his 2017/18 Budget was a continuation of his commitment to boost Brisbane’s liveability as Australia’s New World City, with a vision that looked to the future to improve quality of life for all residents.
“A liveable city is about more than just new jobs and better roads; it’s about enhancing our parks and facilities, boosting local markets and providing vibrant, liveable communities for all residents to enjoy,” he said.
“Over the next four years, I will invest $11.5 million to reinforce Mt Coot-tha as Brisbane’s premier adventure, ecotourism, horticulture and learning destination.
“Mt Coot-tha’s Visitor Information Centre will be completed in the coming months, and will showcase the precinct to more than 700,000 annual visitors, connecting them with attractions including the Botanic Gardens, the Planetarium, the Mt Coot-tha Summit and a diverse range of other recreational activities.
“Outdoor adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism segments in the world, and Council has committed $1.8 million over the next three years to progress a new zipline which will complement the diverse range of outdoor experiences already on offer.
“Visitors will also benefit from new walking trails and upgrades to the Simpson Falls and JC Slaughter Falls picnic areas with more than $5.5 million dedicated to enhancing these precincts over the next four years.”
Cr Quirk said the 2017/18 Budget would also continue the lasting historic legacy of Toowong Cemetery, with the delivery of a fully accessible pedestrian link to Mt Coot-tha that would honour the cultural significance of the precinct.
“I am committed to continuing the reactivation of one of the city’s most iconic cemeteries, and have dedicated $1.1 million towards signed walks and an information station that will uncover the many historic tales of the cemetery and a walkway to link the site with the Botanic Gardens,” he said.
In 2017/18 Council will also work alongside the MacArthur Museum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of General MacArthur’s arrival in Brisbane.
Cr Quirk said he had committed $33,000 towards the commemorations, which would include a re-enactment procession through the city and a 1940s themed Festival of Music in Queen Street Mall to celebrate the US Army General’s contribution to Brisbane.
Residents looking for lifestyle and leisure opportunities will also have access to a range of new and improved parks and gym facilities as part of the Lord Mayor’s 2017/18 Budget.
“Robinson Park in Tingalpa, C.J. Greenfield Complex Park in Richlands, O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere and Perrin Park in Toowong will all benefit from a $4.4 million investment over the coming year to install outdoor gym equipment,” Cr Quirk said.
“Two new skate facilities will be constructed in 17/18 at Dorrington Park in Ashgrove, Fihelly Street Park in Grovely, and a new multi-sport youth space in Quinn’s Street Park, Balmoral.
“A $1 million investment will also help to progress the concept plan for a landmark park, playground, community facilities and a future bikeway link on the former Witton Barracks site in Indooroopilly.”
Pools will also prosper under the Lord Mayor’s 2017/18 Budget with $7.4 million invested over the coming financial year to kick off new aqua parks and pool upgrades at facilities across the city.
“$2.5 million will be invested in 2017/18 towards a major upgrade of the Langlands Park Memorial Pool in Coorparoo, which will see a refurbishment of its 50-metre pool and the construction of a new aquatic playground,” he said.
Cr Quirk said libraries would also be a priority in the 2017/18 Budget, with $69 million set aside in the coming year to continue to make it easier for residents to access Council’s diverse range of literature and learning offerings.
“Brisbane’s libraries are integral to a smart-thinking, easy-living New World City, providing opportunities for learning, recreational reading and cultural activities,” he said.
“This Budget will see nine new or upgraded libraries, including the relocation of the new Garden City Library and a brand new state-of-the-art library in Bracken Ridge, with $6 million dedicated towards its construction over the next two years.
“Brisbane will also benefit from a $25 million investment that will boost the city’s social and cultural offerings by supporting our vibrant local markets, festivals and events.
“Council directly supports more than 124 community festivals and events each year, helping to boost what has become an integral part of our city’s cultural and creative life.”
Highlights of lifestyle and leisure investments in the 17-18 Budget include:
• $33,000 for the MacArthur Museum (75th commemorations) over the coming year
• $69 million investment in Council libraries over the coming year
• $11.5 million for the Mt Coot-tha precinct over four years
• $1.1 million for the Toowong cemetery link over the coming year
• $1 million to progress the Witton Barracks Park project over the coming year
• $20.5 million for aqua centres and pool upgrades over four years
• $54.5 million for park maintenance and upgrades over four years
• $39.4 million for key city park upgrades over four years
• $12.1 million for upgrades to neighbourhood parks over four years