Brisbane City Hall
The City of Brisbane is the Local Government Area (LGA) that has jurisdiction over the inner portion of the metropolitan area of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Unlike LGAs in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, where LGAs are generally responsible only for the relatively small Central Business Districts of those cities, the City of Brisbane administers a significant portion of the Brisbane metropolitan area and has a larger population than any other Local Government Area in Australia. The City of Brisbane was the first Australian LGA to reach a population of more the one million. The population of the LGA is roughly equivalent to the populations of Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory combined. The Council administers a budget of over A$3 billion.
The Local Government Area is the combination of the local cities, towns and shires that merged together in 1925. The main offices and Central Library for the Council are at 266 George Street, also known as Brisbane Square. The Brisbane City Hall houses the Council Chamber, the offices of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Mayor, meeting and reception rooms and the Museum of Brisbane.
The Queensland state government created the City of Brisbane with a view to uniting the then Brisbane metropolitan area under one planning and governance structure. The City of Brisbane Act 1924 received assent from the Governor on 30 October 1924. On 1 October 1925, 20 local government areas of various sizes were abolished and merged into the new city, namely:
The Council also assumed responsibility for several quasi-autonomous government authorities, such as the Brisbane Tramways Trust.
The City of Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council, the largest local council in Australia. The Brisbane City Council has its power divided between a powerful executive Lord Mayor, a parliamentary-style council of twenty-six councillors representing single-member wards of approximately 23,000 voters, and a Civic Cabinet comprising the Lord Mayor and the chairpersons of the seven standing committees drawn from the membership of Council. The Lord Mayor is the person elected by the largest single electorate in Australia. The seven standing committees of Council are:
Community Services Committee
Environment and Sustainability Committee
Public Transport Committee
Roads, TransApex and Traffic Committee
Urban Planning and Economic Development Committee
Water and City Businesses Committee
The council also owns three business units which are city-owned enterprises managed on commercial lines:
Following Local Government elections on 15 March 2008, 10 councillors are members of the Australian Labor Party while 16 councillors and the Lord Mayor are from the Liberal National Party. The current Lord Mayor of Brisbane is Graham Quirk, who replaced civil engineer Campbell Newman in April 2011, when he resigned to enter Queensland State Politics. Graham Quirk belongs to the Liberal National Party. The current Deputy Mayor is Adrian Schrinner. The day-to-day management of Council's operations is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer who is currently Colin Jensen.
Elections are held every four years with ballots for the Lord Mayoralty and the individual councillors being held simultaneously. Voting is compulsory for all eligible electors. The election in March 2004 resulted in the unusual situation of a Liberal Lord Mayor co-existing with a Labor majority on Council, resulting in remarkably few conflicts over civic budgets and Council policy. The most recent election in March 2008 saw a swing of 5.5% to the Liberal National Party on the councillor votes, resulting in a Liberal majority on Council with a Liberal Lord Mayor (Lord Mayor Campbell Newman won re-election with 60% of the primary vote).
The Brisbane City Council is incorporated under the City of Brisbane Act 1924, while other local governments in Queensland are governed by the Local Government Act 1993.
Council meetings are held at Level 5, 157 Ann St, Brisbane City every Tuesday at 2pm except during recess and holiday periods. This temporary venue is in use due to the restoration work being performed on the traditional venue Brisbane City Hall. Meetings are generally open to the public.
Brisbane City Council aims to be carbon neutral by 2026 via the reduction of emissions and carbon offsetting.
Brisbane Coat of Arms
The motto of the City of Brisbane is Meliora sequimur, Latin for We aim for better things. The Council's corporate slogan is Dedicated to a better Brisbane. The city's colours are blue and gold. Its corporate logo was introduced in 1982 in preparation for the Commonwealth Games hosted in Brisbane that year. It features a stylised version of Brisbane's City Hall which opened in 1930. The city's floral emblem is the (exotic) poinsettia and its faunal emblem is the Graceful Tree Frog.
Flag of Brisbane
As of 20 June 2011, the twenty-six wards, their councillors and their party affiliations are:
Ward Party Councillor
Bracken Ridge LNP Amanda Cooper
Central Labor David Hinchliffe
Chandler LNP Adrian Schrinner
Deagon Labor Victoria Newton
Doboy Labor John Campbell
Enoggera LNP Andrew Wines
Hamilton LNP David McLachlan
Holland Park LNP Ian McKenzie
Jamboree LNP Matthew Bourke
Karawatha Labor Gail MacPherson
MacGregor LNP Steven Huang
Marchant LNP Fiona King
McDowall LNP Norm Wyndham
Moorooka Labor Steve Griffiths
Morningside Labor Shayne Sutton
Northgate Labor Kim Flesser
Parkinson LNP Angela Owen-Taylor
Pullenvale LNP Margaret de Wit
Richlands Labor Milton Dick
Tennyson LNP/Independent Nicole Johnston
The Gabba Labor Helen Abrahams
The Gap LNP Geraldine Knapp
Toowong LNP Peter Matic
Walter Taylor LNP Julian Simmonds
Wishart LNP Krista Adams
Wynnum Manly Labor Peter Cumming
 Sister cities
The City of Brisbane has seven sister cities. They are:
Japan Kobe, Japan (July 1985)
New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand (August 1988)
China Shenzhen, People's Republic of China (June 1992)
Indonesia Semarang, Indonesia (January 1993)
Republic of China Kaohsiung, Taiwan (September 1997)
South Korea Daejeon, South Korea (June 2002)
China Chongqing, People's Republic of China (October 2005)
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (February 2009)
^1 Direct-controlled municipality of the People's Republic of China
In 1995, Brisbane City Council officially severed all ties with its sister city, Nice, France, in protest against the Chirac government's decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean. Brisbane does not have any sister city relationship with any North American, South American, African or European city.
Brisbane City Hall
Brisbane City Hall, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is the seat of the Brisbane City Council. It is located adjacent to King George Square, where the rectangular City Hall has its main entrance. The City Hall also has frontages and entrances in both Ann Street and Adelaide Street. The building is considered one of Brisbane's finest and is registered on the Register of the National Estate since 1978.
The foundation laying ceremony, 29 July 1920
The City Hall was once the tallest building in Brisbane (see external links below for image from 1957). The building was designed by the firm Hall & Prentice, in association with four young New South Wales Architects: Bruce Dellit, Peter Kaad, Emil Sodersten  and Noel Wilson. The foundation stone was laid in July 1920 by Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor), with a opal encrusted 18ct gold and trowel, designed by Peter Kaad. Brisbane City Hall was opened in 1930. An earlier foundation stone had been laid in 1917 by Queensland Governor (Major Sir Hamilton J. Goold-Adams) in advance of the building's construction, however it was later found to be out of alignment, and it was removed. This stone, stored in a Brisbane City Council depot, later disappeared from record.
The clock tower of Brisbane City Hall is 91 m (298 ft) high.
The building was designed according to the Italian Renaissance style, symmetrical and formal. It has three floors and a partial basement. The total cost of the project including furniture, fitout and furnishing was ₤1,000,000.
Brisbane City Hall has an imposing 70 m clock tower (rising 91 m above ground level), based on the design of the St Mark's Campanile in Venice, Italy. Above the main entrance is a bronze awning and the doors are also made of bronze. Lions heads are found above these columns. The columns supporting the tympanum are of the Corinthian order while the columns extending on either side are of the Ionic order.
The four clock faces on each side of the tower are the largest in Australia. The clock has Westminster Chimes, which sound on the quarter hour, and can be heard from the Queen St Mall and, at times, in the surrounding suburbs. Above the clocks is an observation platform, open to the public and accessible by lift between 10am and 3pm seven days a week, free. For many years this afforded spectacular views of Brisbane, but since the relaxation of height limits for surrounding buildings in the late 1960s, the view is now somewhat restricted.
The centre of City Hall features a stunning auditorium, based on the Pantheon, Rome, and several smaller reception rooms. The auditorium is a large circular hall that can seat up to 2,500 people and is covered by a large copper dome. When originally built it was intended that the building would house most of the Council's administrative offices, Aldermen's (councillors') offices, the Council Chamber, a public library and several reception rooms, in addition to the auditorium. As the role of local government increased in the 1950s and 1960s, the reception rooms, hallways and side entrance vestibules (in Adelaide and Ann Streets) were converted to office space. Additional offices were constructed on the roof and in the basement.
Brisbane City Hall around 1930.
The building was officially opened on 8 April 1930. However it had been partially occupied since 1927. In 1969 the council commenced the acquisition of the properties to the south of the City Hall, and in 1975 opened the Brisbane Administration Centre (or BAC), a 20 floor tower and surrounding plaza. Most of the Council's offices then moved from the City hall to the BAC. Until the opening of the new Brisbane Square in December 2006, the City Hall continued to house the office of the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, which was previously located on the first level of the King George Square side of the building. The Council Chambers (located on the Adelaide Street side of the building), and councillors' offices, remain however in City Hall.
In the 1980s work commenced on the full-scale restoration of the building, opening up the side entrance vestibules and restoring a number of the reception rooms to their original design. These reception rooms are named for former local government areas subsumed into Greater Brisbane in 1925, such as the Sherwood Room, or the Ithaca Room. From 2003 the Museum of Brisbane (which has galleries positioned on both sides of the building's entrance from King George Square) has replaced administration offices.
 King George Square
The City Hall faces King George Square, named in honour of King George V. Originally this area, between Ann and Adelaide Streets, was much narrower than at present and was called Albert Square. In the late 1960s premises on the square opposite the City Hall were acquired by the City Council, demolished and the area levelled to form a larger square. The creation of the enlarged square was criticised in some quarters as it resulted in the removal of the original imposing flight of stone stairs in front of the building, when the ground level in front of the City Hall was raised to the level of the main entrance. When Albert Square was redeveloped into King George Square, the existing fountain at Albert Square was relocated to Wynnum.
King George Square is a popular place for public gatherings, rallies and protest marches. As part of the Inner-Northern Busway project, King George Square has been remodelled.
 Construction materials
The building is constructed of concrete, brick and steel, with a base of Camp Mountain Granite. The granite was extracted by the first builder, Arthur Midson, from his quarry at Camp Mountain near Samford. This deposit was worked just for the City Hall project. Above Midson's granite base courses, the east, north and west sides are clad in Helidon Freestone, a type of sandstone extracted from Wright's Quarry at Helidon. The sandstone cladding was constructed (together with the rest of the building) by builder Douglas Dunn Carrick. The clock tower has a steel framework, and is clad in the same sandstone. The interior includes two marble columns that support an arch above a ground marble staircase.
 Notable works
Daphne Mayo's tympanum above the King George Square entrance to the Brisbane City Hall
The sculptured pediment above the portico and entrance, known as the tympanum, was carved by noted Brisbane sculptor Daphne Mayo in the early 1930s. There is some controversy surrounding the theme of the tympanum, which depicts the settlement of Queensland. The gown-clad female figure in the centre depicts "progress" or "enlightenment", while settlers with their cattle and explorers with their horses, move out from under her protecting arms to claim the land from the indigenous people and native animals, who are represented by two aboriginal males crouching in the left hand corner, and a fleeing kangaroo. To the right corner one can see a young European male and female, adjoined by a sheep and a row of books and an artist's palette representing the new European nation, agriculture and civilisation. The tympanum measures 16.5 m long with a height of 3 m at its centre.
The bronze lion sculptures and statue of King George V, in front of the King George Square façade of Brisbane City Hall, were initially part of the King George V memorial, which was unveiled in 1938 as a tribute to the King from the citizens of Brisbane. Since 2007, the lions, modelled on the bronze lions of Trafalgar Square, London, and the statue, have been removed for renovations to the Square. They were re-incorporated into the new redeveloped King George Square in 2009.
An accompanying bronze work to complement the King George V pediment sculpture, based on the life of the pioneering Brisbane family, the Petrie's (famously of Brisbane's First Mayor John Petrie), known as the Petrie Tableau, also has been removed due to renovations at the square.
Forme del Mito, a collection of large bronze thematic sculptured works by renowned Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro, one of the more prominent works of art collected for and displayed at Brisbane's Expo '88, previously took pride of place in King George Square. In 2007, they were removed for renovation to take place. They are now situated at the foot of Jacob's Ladder, at the entrance to Wickham Terrace.
The 4,600 pipes organ was built in 1892 by Henry Willis & Sons Organ Builders in Liverpool, UK, for the Brisbane Exhibition Building at Bowen Park. It remained in the Exhibition Concert Hall until it was moved to the Brisbane City Hall in 1927. The City Hall’s first organ recital was held in 1929. The organ concert held on 14 November 2009 celebrated the 80th anniversary of the organ installation in the Brisbane City Hall but was also the last organ recital before the commencement of the restoration. When City Hall closed on 31 December 2009, the organ was totally dismantled and removed from the building for storage. It is planned that the organs will return to the hall three years later.
 2008/2009 developments
King George Square, in front of the Brisbane City Hall, redevelopment included a new re-modelled public plaza, restaurants, gift shops and a stage. It was completed in October 2009, for the 150th Anniversary of Brisbane as State Capital of Queensland,
It is also the site of the new underground King George Square busway station, linking the Queen Street bus station with the Roma Street Station and the northern suburbs.
 Structural problems
Brisbane City Hall was built on swampy ground; This has caused the iconic building to suffer from the problems of rising damp. Serious problems have been identified with the building, including: subsidence, concrete cancer, a lack of reinforcing in the concrete and old wiring. The Brisbane City Council has set up a taskforce to address these issues, raise awareness, co-ordinate restoration and fundraise. The Brisbane City Hall closed on December 31, 2009, for the three year restoration project.
 2010-2012 Restoration Project
King George Square's bronzes removed during redevelopment work
Since 31 December 2009, Brisbane City Hall has been closed for three years to undergo large scale restoration works. The works involve replacement of all building services (electrical, mechanical, fire, hydraulic systems etc.), structural works to building interiors, dome and auditorium and conservation of the original heritage surfaces and building facade. The grand organs have been removed from the building for the duration of the building works.
Brisbane City Hall is expected to reopen in late 2012.