Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced he won’t contest next year’s Council elections and will step down from the role on 7 April, exactly eight years from the day he became Lord Mayor.
The development of 26 new four and five star hotels, 40 all ability playgrounds, Howard Smith Wharves, the commencement of a new 600 hectare major park for the city along Oxley Creek as well as several key infrastructure upgrades were the highlights among many notable achievements.
Cr Quirk said the fully funded Brisbane Metro would also be a game-changer for the city when developed, getting people home up to 50 per cent faster when services commence in 2023.
He said there were a number of initiatives which had helped mature the city including the City of Lights program including LED lighting on the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge, City Hall and other landmarks. Creative hub The Capital was another key innovation and has significantly contributed to Brisbane being the number two city in Australia for start-up businesses.
“As Lord Mayor, I’ve strived to make Brisbane an even better place to live and work and I hope most people agree that has occurred over the past eight years,” he said.
“I’ve continued to invest in infrastructure to tackle traffic congestion with projects like the Brisbane Metro to get people home quicker and safer. We have delivered more than $4 billion in road upgrades and improvements over the last eight years.
“I have worked to develop a real Team Brisbane approach around our city and suburbs that’s about getting business and educational institutions, the not-for-profit sector and city government working closer together to deliver improved outcomes and create more jobs for the people of Brisbane.”
Cr Quirk has also served as the Chairman of the Council of Mayors for South East Queensland for eight years and significantly raised the profile of the infrastructure needs of the region.
“I’m proud of the work achieved with the other SEQ Mayors including gaining State and Federal support for a SEQ City Deal,” he said.
“The People Mass Movement Study and the SEQ Olympics feasibility should also create a catalyst for infrastructure delivery and job creation.”
Cr Quirk said he had decided recently to not stand again because he could no longer commit to standing at next year’s Council elections for a further four year term.
“There are significant demands on one’s family in these roles and upon reflection I have decided that now is the time to go,” he said.
“I’m extremely proud of what my team has achieved and confident that a vibrant and renewed LNP Council team will have new and exciting plans to keep Brisbane heading in the right direction.”
Cr Quirk’s successor will be announced on Sunday after a meeting of the LNP party room. A special meeting of Council will be held the following week to officially swear in the new Lord Mayor.