Queensland Set to Welcome Artificial Intelligence Hub
Queensland Set to Welcome AI Hub. The Queensland government has unveiled plans to build an artificial intelligence hub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
The new training hub, dubbed The Precinct, will aim to help fill the skills gap created by the surging artificial intelligence sector.
The government will provide seed funding out of its $650 million Advance Queensland initiative to fund the hub, but is relying on investment from the private sector.
Advance Queensland is a whole-of-government program fostering innovation and building a more diversified Queensland economy, with the target of creating jobs now and for the future.
“Queensland has a shortage of talent in the artificial intelligence space,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Currently we have up to eight times more AI jobs on offer in the state than people with the right skills available to fill them.”
The AI Hub will provide a co-working space for startups undertaking advanced robotics, machine learning and speech recognition along with mentoring and international networking opportunities.
Specialised training courses will also be offered out of the AI Hub for Queensland industry and public sector organisation.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the new AI Hub would serve as a training centre and a place for businesses to network.
“It will also help to attract investment into Queensland startups and innovative local companies with AI-based solutions for global markets,” Jones said.
“The seed funding provided by the government will act as a catalyst for co-investment by the private sector.”
The new initiative has already received interest from a number of international corporates, as well as Australian companies and universities.
“Overcoming decades we will see an explosion of AI and machine learning technologies changing the way we work, which will lead to incredible economic and community benefits,” Griffith University professor Dr Kelvin Ross said.
“As a researcher, investor and employer I am excited about the global opportunities available in pursuing AI innovation in Queensland given our local capabilities for talent, technology and entrepreneurship.”
While the government has allocated seed funding and floor space for the hub, it is now calling for co-investment from the private sector.
Brisbane Metro to Reshape Adelaide Street
Brisbane City Council has released its plan to transform one of the cities vital public transport corridors into a new transit boulevard, including an underground tunnel entry for Brisbane Metro.
Adelaide Street in Brisbane’s CBD will now be transformed in order to declutter the existing infrastructure and provide a revised vision for a walkable, tree-lined boulevard, weaving together retail and key civic spaces with world-class public transport access.
The recently released Draft Adelaide Street Vision has outlined council’s plan to adapt the century-old transit corridor to meet changing community needs.
Visitation to Brisbane is marked to increase by around 30 per cent by 2020, and infrastructure to support and service the high-frequency Metro vehicles will be an initial focus.
The $944 million Brisbane Metro is a key driver for the new direction, with the project delivering a new tunnel under Adelaide Street to link North Quay to the King George Square Bus Station.
Pedestrian movement will also be prioritised with widened footpaths, build-outs and improved street crossings.
Clark Lane will also be activated with the addition of an adjoining pocket park with an outdoor gallery and creative lighting as well as enhancements to Hutton Lane to improve connectivity to Central Station.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Draft Adelaide Street Vision outlined Council’s plan to adapt Adelaide Street to increase safety and transport accessibility.
“As our city experiences increased pedestrian and public transport activity, we want to transform this corridor into a world-class transit boulevard,” lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said.
“We’re going to make sure that is a world-class arrival experience in Adelaide Street and a much more pleasant environment, a safer environment, for pedestrians as well.”
Adelaide Street, one of four key city boulevards that is both pedestrian and transit-oriented within Brisbane’s CBD, was originally sounded out for its development potential in the City Centre Master Plan 2014.
“We need to plan a desirable entry point into the heart of the city ahead of the high-frequency Brisbane Metro, which is expected to increase passenger numbers to King George Square by 120 per cent,” Schrinner said.
Council is currently evaluating expressions of interest from five consortia to build the inner city infrastructure for the Metro before releasing a short-list to commence the tender proposal phase later this year.
The Brisbane Metro will stretch 21 kilometres, from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street Station, and from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to UQ Lakes busway station.
Out of the project’s budget, $196 million has been set aside for the depot, fleet and systems, $557 million for infrastructure and project management and delivery costs $189 million.
The Brisbane Metro’s station at South Brisbane’s Cultural Centrewill cost $315 million, about a third of the metro’s budget.
The route will also close Victoria Bridge to vehicles, reconfiguring the number of metro and bus lanes from four to three, and includes the dedicated off-road cyclist and pedestrian path.
Brisbane residents can provide feedback on the draft Adelaide Street vision until 24 June, after which the council will begin working on the vision coinciding with Brisbane Metro’s construction timeline.
Developers, Government and Council Ink $1.2bn Infrastructure Deal
A $1.2 billion deal to secure the infrastructure needs of two priority development areas over the next 45 years has been made between Queensland government, Logan City council and nine property developers.
The deal will ensure necessary funding towards local roads, water and sewerage facilities for the two development areas Yarrabilba and Greater Flagstone, both located roughly within a 55-kilometre distance from Brisbane CBD.
The nine developers include Lendlease, Villa World, Mirvac, Peet, Pioneer-Fortune, Celestino, Pacific International, New Beith and Gittins.
The two areas are slated to deliver a substantial portion of new housing in south-east Queensland over the next three-to-four decades.
Infrastructure and planning minister Cameron Dick described the deal as the largest infrastructure agreement of its type.
“Some 170 kilometres of council roads will be upgraded through these developer contributions and over the next six years alone, the agreement will see up to $400 million in infrastructure investment, which will support more than 130 construction jobs each year,” Dick said.
“The deal will guarantee the roads, water supply and wastewater infrastructure needed to connect the emerging communities with the surrounding networks are delivered without placing an impost on existing ratepayers.”
Developers will fund the infrastructure through upfront charges, above their development costs within the Flagstone and Yarrabilba areas.
Lendlease Queensland Communities general manager Guy Gibson said the commitment by all parties will see major infrastructure improvements for the Yarrabilba community and Greater Flagstone.
“The finalisation of these infrastructure agreements with the State Government and Logan City Council is an important milestone in ensuring that over the next 45 years the project continues to be well planned and appropriately serviced.”
Facilities have already been delivered in the region, including two primary schools, retail precincts, a sports and community hub and recreational parks.
A state primary and high school are scheduled to open in 2020, while two further schools, one state and one independent, are each in the planning phase for greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba.
New $250m Underground Plans for Roma Street
Brisbane’s Roma Street busway station will be dug underground and integrated with the new Cross River Rail platforms, in a $250 million plan announced on Friday.
While a new underground train station was already promised for the Roma Street site, deputy Premier Jackie Trad unveiled plans that the 650-metre long busway would also be moved below, to be located directly under the Roma Street station plaza.
Despite no federal funding for $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, Trad said the new underground busway would be delivered as an additional transport infrastructure project, funded by Transport and Main Roads.
“The underground interchange for the Inner Northern Busway to the Cross River Rail Project will support 480 jobs,” Trad said.
The Queensland government expects 36,000 people will transfer daily between rail and buses at the Roma Street station when the project is finished in 2024.
Plans will see the Roma Street precinct revitalised by replacing the “tired” transit centre, with the existing above-ground interchange to be demolished.
The new street frontage station plaza will be built on top of the busway interchange with underground train and bus plaza levels linked by lifts and escalators.
Cross River Rail early works have already commenced in Woolloongabba in Brisbane’s inner south-east.
Contractors are expected to start on Roma Street Station’s underground busway interchange by late-2019.
The multi-billion-dollar project
Cross River Rail is a 10.2 kilometre rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, which includes 5.9 kilometres of tunnel under the Brisbane River and Brisbane City Centre.
It’s anticipated a trip from Albert Street to The Gabba would take around three minutes.
Once Cross River Rail is open, 36,000 passengers are expected to use Roma Street each day to transfer between buses and trains.
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