After almost two years of demolition, work on Brisbane’s historic City Hall is at a turning point.
Reconstruction is beginning and the city’s most recognisable landmark should be open to the public again in little over a year.
Sarah Shands reports.
Brisbane City Hall closed its doors in December 2009 to undergo large scale restoration.
Work has now turned to recreating the historic interior we know so well, but there will be some modernisation.
The acoustics in the auditorium will be state of the art and cutting edge technology is being integrated into all areas of the building.
The work will not only restore the building to its former glory, but also provide a new cultural venue.
But it comes at an estimated cost of around $215 million.
Matthew Bourke, Councillor:”We are on budget and on time at the moment obviously this is a very complex project being a heritage project and it has presented many challenges.”
Brisbane City Council remains enthusiastic about the project but the opposition is not so sure it is money well spent.
The 2010 City Hall Committee Report shows the council cannot yet meet the $215 million budget.
Ray Smith, Leader of the Opposition: “What we’ve seen is the promise of $100 million from the state and federal governments and get 10 and at the same time we’ve seen them spend $30 million on a mezzanine level and this project has a massive financial black hole and is at risk of not being finished.”
But the council insists they do have the money to finish the project.
Matthew Bourke, Councillor: “Council has always said they will fund any short fall out of that $215 million from the council budget.”
Ratepayers will soon know. The City Hall is due to reopen in 12 months.
Sarah Shand, QUT News.