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Riverwalk: Please rebuild our Riverwalk.
Riverwalk: Please rebuild our Riverwalk- AS you all know through both your local media around the world that Brisbane was hit by a Natural disaster 'double-whammy' in January. First record rainfall and subsequent flooding in January. Then tropical Cyclone Yasi. Both of which i have created hubs about. During the height of the Brisbane Floods the Brisbane River approached record heights speed and veracity. Debris from upstream including Yachts and mooring trees Washing Machines, Barrels were propels downstream injuring and destroying infrastructure along the way. One of the pieces of infrastructure which was fatally destroyed was the Brisbane River walk which extends from Merthyr Road New Farm to the Brisbane City. The Brisbane River walk provided a beautiful vantage of the Brisbane Skyline for all those that walked or cycled along her. Unparalleled on giving a view of the city most panoramic scenery it became very well loved for those that walked cycled and commuted on her. The River walk was completed only several years a go and consisted of a floating pontoon supported by guiding pylons similar to most floating pontoons. In other words the walk was a long continuous floating pontoon until it me more solid fixed walkway at either end.
The Politics of Rebuilding the Riverwalk
One wonders how the Story Bridge in Brisbane was ever built. In the 1930's. Given the bridges size and how much controversy has been generated already over money surrounded the rebuilding of the Riverwalk. Why the council these days wants to talk about giant projects such as the 1.9 billion dollar Northern Link. As well as billions for other tunnels which are only for car use. One wonders when the council wants to quibble about 75 million at the same time as pushing a clean green livable city image.
You will have seen that the Lord Mayor Newman is now revising his previous position on replacing Riverwalk. For the last 3 weeks Cr Hinchcliife has supported the Lord Mayor in his commitment to re-build Riverwalk. I have said that in order to keep costs down and ensure the structure is safe, we should consider building it closer to the river bank and consider making it a fixed structure, rather than floating pontoons. This would certainly reduce costs.
However, the media and some politicians have focused on excessive ‘estimates’ of the cost of rebuilding – as high as $75m. As local Councillor David Hinchcliffe has said, " I have yet to see any expert briefing with alternatives for construction or cost estimates. I do not know where these inflated estimates have come from ". Hinchliffe goes on "However, I have no doubt there are some people who are promoting an excessive cost as a way of encouraging public opposition to replacing Riverwalk."
Without the Riverwalk being rebuilt lots of people (thousands) who have walked or cycled to work will have to find alternative forms of transport. Travelling by bus whilst better than driving a car as far as the environment is concerned. As well many athletes and joggers who use the Riverwalk will have to find alternative less desirable or safe routes. As well the abandonment rebuilding the Riverwalk will place an area called the Howard Smith Historic Walls inaccessible as parkland and would deem their use either commercially or as parkland null and void. At present the council plans selling or leasing part of he land for a boutique style hotel. Inaccessibility as well as not having a nice walk way for guest will or would seriously mean that such a hotel be unviable.
In order to try and get some inertia and support to get the Riverwalk rebuilt I am doing what I can. i have set up a Twitter page and a Facebook cause devoted to rebuilding the river walk. I have rang the most popular local radio programme ABC 612Brisbane & spoke with award winning presenter Spencer Howson endeavouring him to get the Brisbane community to get the Brisbane community behind rebuilding the river-walk.