Brisbane's future & new infrastructure, South Brisbane and South Bank, West End

Queen Street Mall to cross into South Brisbane?

If you go for a wander at any time of the day, and well into the evenings, you’ll see the throng of people braving the winter winds and summer sun in their march over Victoria Bridge from the CBD into South Brisbane. It’s a wide span of the river but the cultural attractions of South Bank, theatres, galleries, boutiques and bars, plus the cafes and appeal of West End, all draw the crowds from our CBD.

And there’s been talk for years and years and years on how we can improve the linking of the two. Right now buses own the Victoria Bridge and much of Melbourne St. They fly out of the busway tunnel in a cloud of black smoke, miles of high metal fences corralling pedestrians into our narrow lane. Apparently the bridge itself, built in 1969, can’t even withstand the weight of a roof to cover the walkway. Not while buses choke its length anyway. So these two wonderful parts of Brisbane remain divided, tourists left bemused that our “new world city” hasn’t yet dealt with the challenge.

There’s reports today that Council has received a proposal to expand Queen Street Mall across the river, drawing the two closer together and providing “a comfortable journey between the mall and South Bank”. The new discussion is very welcome and let’s hope it gains political support from all sides.

Ideas on how to get buses off Victoria Bridge have bounced around Council and government budget discussions for a long time, and no doubt the current tight rein on finances makes a new bus bridge a distant hope. But one way or another our leaders need to keep this project as a high priority.