Taxpayers have forked out $3.8 million to remove a flood-damaged restaurant from Brisbane’s Bicentennial Bikeway and river after it was damaged in this year’s floods.
- The 200-tonne structure was pushed up onto the Bicentennial Bikeway during flooding earlier this year
- The state government in March instructed the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to use its powers to remove it
- The lessee said he had not been contacted by the state government regarding the $3.8m removal
The structure of the former floating restaurant known as Drift was swept onto the Bicentennial Bikeway during the late February floods.
The state government then enacted special powers to remove the 200-tonne pontoon in late March, under the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Act, which had only been exercised once before following the 2011 floods.
The state government in late March said an independent engineering report had found serious safety issues with the structure, warning “in its current state, the pontoon is considered to be at risk of immediate and sudden collapse”.
Workers in April began cutting the structure into several sections in order to remove it from the bikeway.
While the structure blocked the bikeway, Brisbane City Council one lane of Coronation Drive into a two-way bikeway and introduced a 40 km per hour speed limit converted in the area.
The bikeway fully reopened on June 10.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Deputy Premier Steven Mile’s confirmed the cost of the removal.
Mr Bailey said it was a dangerous and difficult operation.
“That’s a cost to the state government, if the city council wants to make a contribution, we would willingly accept it, given they requested it but we’re absorbing that cost,” he said.
The lessee, Brisbane businessman Ken Allsop, told ABC Radio Brisbane in March that he had wanted to reopen the venue.
Speaking today Mr Allsop said he had not been contacted by the state government regarding the cost of the removal, and would not be paying for it.
“I haven’t been asked to pay it. They decided to do it, and I wanted to put it back together,” he said.