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Ronald Gardiner: A critique of Brisbane Metro

Professor Emeritus Ronald Gardiner, former Dean of QUT's Science Faculty, recently delivered a U3A lecture (23.9.18) in which he offered a critical assessment of the Brisbane City Council's planned 'Brisbane Metro' transport system. Professor Gardiner has kindly provided the text of his lecture, including an analysis of the project's funding arrangements, reproduced in the attachment below.

'As with every Australian city, the optimal long-term solution to traffic congestion problems in central Brisbane requires a sizeable fraction of commuters to be enticed out of their cars and into trains and buses.  However, for this strategy to succeed, reliable, convenient and efficient public transport must be provided as an attractive alternative.  Frequently-observed queues of buses on Victoria Bridge waiting to enter the Cultural Centre busway station are a clear indication that present public transport provision fails to meet this criterion.

'In tackling this and related problems, the Brisbane community should expect of its elected decision-makers that scarce resources – especially those provided by rate-payers and tax-payers – will be spent not opportunistically, to support short-term political objectives, but strategically, to maximise long-term community benefits.  It is contended that Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Metro (BM) project fails this test.'

Brisbane Metro?

Professor Emeritus Ronald Gardiner recently offered (3.11.21) an updated critique of the Brisbane Metro project for the attention of Brisbane City Councillors and the Queensland government, extending the analysis of his previous critique. He has kindly provided the text of this latest assessment of the project's pitfalls, attached below.

'Wake up, Brisbane! Wake up, Brisbane City Councillors! The Emperor of City Hall is exhibiting clear signs of incipient nakedness. His Brisbane Metro project is in disarray, its overly hyped capability is being trumpeted ever more discordantly, but ever less credibly. Since its launch in April 2017, all that the project has delivered is painting one lane of Victoria Bridge green. But the potential of the project to do lasting damage to Brisbane, aesthetically, physically, financially and reputationally, is unabated.

'In May 2019, Council’s document “Adelaide Street – A Vision for Brisbane’s Transit Boulevard” described Adelaide Street as Brisbane’s premier transit street and intended tree-lined boulevard. Wholly incompatible with this vision, an act of civic bastardry is about to be perpetrated. To make way for Brisbane Metro, a tunnel and its portal are about to be inserted into Adelaide Street, between North Quay and George Street (see Front Cover & Figure 1) – the first tunnel portal to be
permitted in a CBD street. Those seeking to enter the street from its river end will be confronted by a concrete jungle surrounding a hideous orifice that appears to lead into a foreboding underworld – see the Front Cover. In the words of Joni Mitchell, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.'

 

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