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AEG Ogden’s Harvey Lister expresses frustrations at delays with Brisbane Live precinct
Harvey Lister, Chairman of venue management company AEG Ogden and the proponent of the Brisbane Live entertainment precinct, has shared his frustration at the lack of progress on the transformational scheme, calling out to authorities that they should “just get on with it”.
In an interview with Brisbane newspaper The Courier Mail at the weekend, Lister expressed his fears that development of the precinct - which features a planned 18,000 arena at its core - could be under threat because it was trapped between bureaucracy and a political reluctance to back Brisbane projects.
Expressing fears that not building Brisbane Live in tandem with Brisbane’s Cross River Rail scheme would likely incur an extra $150 million in project costs, Lister told The Courier Mail his company was willing to pay the $1 million needed to kickstart market testing of the arena proposal.
He has also offered to personally brief Queensland Cabinet, as he did when the Brisbane Convention Centre was first proposed.
Lister told the newspaper “I am frustrated because I know it is the right thing (and) my message is ‘just get on with it’.
“In my 44 years of business in this city, I have never seen a project that has had this level of positive public, government and industry support ever.
“Now we need to find a way to do it and that’s why we need an ‘Action Jackson’.”
The Brisbane Live precinct, which Lister has been working on since 2007, would sit above the railyards at Roma Street Station, which is being rebuilt as part of Cross River Rail.
The multipurpose arena would likely replace the Boondall Entertainment Centre with an inner-city location for sporting events and concerts with seamless connections to Cross River Rail and Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane Metro.
A business case that came up with a $2.1 billion price tag was completed last November but the project has not progressed since.
Lister said he didn’t know whether the $2.1 billion figure included plans for various facilities in the precinct but was “very confident” Brisbane Live could be built for significantly less.
He advised “the arena we have just opened in Dubai, for example, in US dollars is less than $400 million.”
Lister said his offer of $1 million for market testing was on top of $2 million already spent on consultancy reports.
AEG Ogden, which will soon rebrand as ASM Global (Asia Pacific) was also asked to pay for the $5 million business case after it was announced should the project proceed.
Lister said it was fast approaching a time when a decision was needed so Brisbane Live could be built in concert with Cross River Rail, which is due to be completed by 2024.
He stated “I am going to write to the Premier and offer to come to Cabinet and fight for this because this is what the capital city of our state needs.
“If the Brisbane Live precinct isn’t built in the same period, if it was to be done retrospectively, not only would it extend interruption, it could cost another $150 million more by just not making a decision."
Lister said he feared political concerns about regional Queensland could be hampering the project, commenting “I think that would be a huge shame if that was the case.
“These are the kind of things that happen in capital cities and I know the Premier’s vision.
“And with the Olympics bid, this is an opportunity for Brisbane to become a world-class city.”
Lister was backed by Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner who said the Queensland Government needed to “just get out of the way”.
Lord Mayor Schrinner added “this is someone who wants to invest, a firm that is doing work in other parts of the world to build these kinds of facilities.
“Yet he is having trouble getting something up in his own home town that would hugely benefit not just Brisbane but all of Queensland.”
Queensland Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones, who took on the role yesterday after responsibility for the $7 billion project was taken from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, was quoted by The Courier Mail said hearing Lister’s concerns first-hand would be a priority.
Minister Jones advised “I understand what a transformative project this would be for the Brisbane CBD.
“As the new minister I have already committed to meet with Harvey to discuss the proposal.”
Images: Artist’s impression of the Brisbane Live precinct (top and below) and Harvey Lister (middle).
17th September 2019 - AEG Presents announces Singapore relocation and new Senior Vice President appointment
16th September 2019 - Harvey Lister open to partnership to build new Gold Coast entertainment arena
16th September 2019 - Facility manager AEG Ogden transitions to ASM Global (Asia Pacific) brand
13th September 2019 - Brisbane partnership delivers 2031 vision for visitor economy
12th September 2019 - UK Competition Authority clears planned merger between AEG Facilities and SMG
11th September 2019 - New 80,000-seat Brisbane stadium to be centrepiece of 2032 Olympics bid
10th September 2019 - Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena becomes a significant venue on the global events circuit
13th June 2019 - AEG partners with CJ Group to advance new Seoul Metropolitan Arena
5th September 2018 - Live Nation backs new Brisbane live music venue
4th July 2018 - Train station demolition to herald Brisbane Live development
14th November 2017 - Brisbane Live precinct backed in Queensland election
21st June 2016 - Architects appointed for Brisbane Live cultural precinct
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