Months of planning will be put to the test today when the majority of G20 delegates begin arriving.

But the security cordon is not just on land, it’s on the water as well.

Jim Malo reports.


The mantra this weekend is ‘business as usual’ but from today, no private craft will be allowed on the Brisbane River.

Commercial boats are allowed, provided they get the necessary approval.

If you’re on a CityCat, you might catch a glimpse of a member of the largest flotilla in Queensland Police Service history, stationed around the river at all times.

Ross Barnett, QPS: “Those capabilities will be on the water 24 hours a day between now and Monday.”

The gradual ramp up of security comes as the first dignitaries arrive.

The first official arrivals are the South African President, Jacob Zuma, and the International Monetary Fund CEO, Christine Lagarde.

The security presence will continue to grow over the coming days but the city council wants to make sure everyone knows Brisbane is open for business.

Julian Simmonds, BCC G20 Chairman: “Just as a message for residents, still put your bin out if it’s a bin collection day tomorrow you can still do that, those services will still be operating.”

Many businesses also are set to remain open.

In the Queen Street Mall, souvenir shops are unsure what to expect.

Paul Frisby, Australia the Gift: “There’s a fair bit of unknown about the whole thing, from our perspective, all we can do is be ready for trade every day of the year.”

And although state and local governments have urged people to stay and businesses to remain open, the tightening security and traffic delays are keeping the punters away.

Some business owners feel Brisbane residents have been misled.

The usually bustling Little Stanley Street is a ghost town.

Carol Haddad, Corcorz Hair: “It’s very hard, the whole city, the way they’ve advertised it has scared a lot of people, and felt like they can’t be anywhere.”

Restaurateurs say it’s been difficult to gauge prospective crowds, some are disappointed with the turn out so far.

It certainly will be a long weekend for these Brisbane businesses.

Jim Malo, QUT News.