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    $1-billion science academy proposed for Brisbane riverside

    Branko Miletic

    It looks like Brisbane may need to lose its moniker of ‘Brisvegas’ for something more cerebral, with the Liberal National Party (LNP) promising to build a brand new natural history and science museum right next to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) on the banks of the Brisbane River if it wins the next state election.

    Currently the site of the Parmalat milk factory, the development would be designed to satisfy some important criteria for the state’s economic growth agenda-namely international tourism and education and research.

    According to Queensland LNP leader Tim Nichols, this plan will be a “once in a generation transformative project to put Queensland at the forefront of tourism, science, technology and the environment.”

    “The Queensland Academy of Sciences will house a natural history museum and an aquarium and will include living science displays and world-class research and educational facilities,” he said. 

    “Modelled in part on San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences, an LNP Government will partner with our universities and world-renowned architects to create this destinational and research facility.”

    LNP shadow minister for Science and Innovation Tarnya Smith said within the first 100 days of forming government, the LNP would call for proposals for the museum’s design.

    “Just like the Opera House, we will conduct an international design competition to ensure we truly get an architectural icon,” Smith said.

    “We want this ‘living building’ to be an ecological masterpiece that Queenslanders can proudly call their own for generations to come, so we will launch a worldwide design competition for it.

    “The concept design will need to ensure that the building captures the history of Queensland but also complement the existing style of South Bank.”

    Nicholls said the project would also form part of the Kurilpa Riverfront Renewal plan.

    Smith said the LNP was prepared “make this the piece de resistance of the whole area”, while

    Nichols said he would allocate $20 million as a kickstart fund for a worldwide design competition.

    The latest the Queensland state election can be held is in May 2018.

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