Queensland police as well as the G20 Taskforce have given regular updates about what to expect for the upcoming G20 convention in November. The last update we did was hosing down some of the sillier rumours and Chinese whispers about the summit. The key message was it’s not going to be as bad as you think.
That message may have been wrong. While the G20 still isn’t going to be the security apocalypse some were expecting, it seems it will be a more extensive and longer lockdown than we previously assumed.
For example, one of the points made as recently as a month ago was that there would be minimal disruption to bus timetables. We quote the Assistant Police Commissioner from September 18:
In an effort to dispel rumours the Assistant Commissioner spoke to 612 ABC Brisbane’s Spencer Howson and answered concerns and queries raised by the public.
In the week leading up to the G20, will buses into the city run as normal?
Yes, they will run as normal. There will be impacts on the railway line that goes through the Convention Centre and the South Brisbane station will be shut. On the weekend no train will run through the Convention Centre but buses will be running.
With the final update released, that unfortunately turns out to be a bit of a porky. The updated advice on the Translink website now states “Buses will be significantly impacted.” Any bus that stops anywhere between Herston and Wooloongabba (which is an awful lot) will be “redirected” at best or just cancelled at worst.
Translink advises people that:
“to minimise disruptions, please make your way out of Brisbane City and surrounding suburbs before 6pm (Thursday 13 November)” and that “From approximately 7pm CBD bus stops and busway stations between RCH Herston and Woolloongabba will start to be closed and buses will be redirected to alternative stops. Details of the alternative stops will be made available here closer to the event.”
What else? The Brisbane Times reports Victoria bridge will be be out of action for up to four days and the William Jolly bridge will also be affected. Some sections of the city may be blocked off for up to a week.
The Victoria Bridge will be shut to traffic between 7pm on November 13 and 5am on November 17. The William Jolly Bridge will also be closed to southbound traffic between 5pm and 11pm on November 15.
With traffic delays expected around the airport, travellers have been encouraged to use the Airtrain between November 14 and 17.
“For most people in Brisbane it will be business as usual over the long weekend,” the G20 Taskforce said on its website.
The taskforce said “significant changes” would be in place for roads around the city and South Brisbane, leading to “increased journey times for motorists, and changes to parking and public transport”.
“Impacts will be greatest in the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane and routes to and from the airport and the city, and there may be flow-on effects and congestion across Brisbane,” the taskforce said.
One of our favourite Brisbane Times columnists summed it like so: G20 is great, except for all the BS.
We couldn’t agree more.
The most up to date police G20 brochure can be downloaded here. If you’re concerned or curious, don’t forget to also check out the G20 disability services forum run by QDN, NDS and the Caxton Legal Centre.