Last week, Brisbane City Council announced its intention to progress to the detailed design phase and initiate public consultations for the Toowong to West End Green Bridge. However, details regarding funding and the project’s timeline remain uncertain.


Immediately after his election in May 2019, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner promised Brisbane five new green bridges. The bridges program has been emblematic of the Lord Mayor’s vision for Brisbane’s clean, green image. 

Last week, Brisbane Civic Cabinet Transport Chair Ryan Murphy said the Kangaroo Point and Breakfast Creek green bridges are taking shape. 

The Kangaroo Point Green Bridge is a jointly funded project across the three levels of government through the South East Queensland City Deal.

Toowong to West End

In preparation for the planned Toowong to West End bridge, in March 2023, Brisbane City Council resumed 2217 square metres of land on the former ABC site at Toowong from Monarch developer Consolidated Properties Group. The landing is proposed to provide:

Cr Murphy says that having already purchased the bridge’s Toowong landing, Council will soon move into a detailed design and public consultation phase.

“Once this important work is complete, we will be able to approach the State and Federal governments for funding.”

Where is the Money?

However, the future of the Toowong to West End Bridge is not so certain. The Lord Mayor announced the two West End bridges project before speaking with funding partners, and while Cr Murphy says Council is hopeful that the State Government will help fund the West End to Toowong Green Bridge, the State Treasurer, Cameron Dick, has confirmed there is no change to the State Government’s 2021 position: it will not be providing funding for the West End Bridges. 

“I’ll save them the trouble of asking, because the answer is no,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said in July 2021, on helping fund the West End Green Bridge Program. 

This is despite Council’s green bridges plan being recognised by Infrastructure Australia as a priority project. Infrastructure Australia says as the next step, the proponent (Council) is “to identify and analyse potential investment options” for the project.

Council has confirmed with the Westender that while it plans to move to the design phase, it has not set a timeframe for achieving designs for the Toowong to West End Bridge.

“Once this important work is complete, we will be able to approach the State and Federal governments for funding,” Cr Murphy said.

Council says the consultation process will be determined once the design is finalised.

Councillor for the Gabba Ward, Trina Massey, an advocate for the green bridges in West End, said that when it announced the green bridges project, Council said it was willing to spend $550 million. 

“At that point, they said very clearly that they would be happy to pay a minimum of 75 per cent for the bridges, and up to 100 per cent if they had to.” 

“What we know now is the projects costs have blown out.”

“There’s no budget allocation for the two West End green bridges. Council is saying very clearly that the project is dependent on federal and state funding, even though they haven’t applied for state funding. And so, what we’re seeing here is a pass the buck game to explain why the bridges will not be completed anytime soon.”

Cr Massey has also strongly advocated for a new CityCat terminal between West End and South Bank.

“I’ve talked many times about the lack of ferry services on this side of the river. I was pleased to see an indicative ferry terminal at Victoria Street back in the Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP).”

“With or without the green bridge, that ferry terminal should be a priority project for Brisbane City Council.”

Mixed community views

While the Toowong to West End bridge is not universally supported and has had its detractors, especially in West End, it did emerge as the most popular of the two proposed West End bridges during the community consultation phase. (The other, less popular bridge is proposed between Orleigh Park in West End, and Guyatt Park in St Lucia). The most robust support for the bridge has come from the Toowong side of the river and from cycling groups.

Elizabeth Handley of ParkIt in Toowong, who has long campaigned for a bridge from West End combined with a community park at the old ABC site on Coronation Drive, is disappointed with the lack of action.

“The BCC and the state government are very keen to promote, indeed force, increased densities in areas close to the city. They seem very reluctant to provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure that density is affordable and liveable.”

“The community has already lost the opportunity to incorporate much-needed green space into the Toowong to West End green bridge design with the sale and subsequent development of the old ABC site at Toowong.”

“The community calls on the BCC to promptly proceed with this vital infrastructure with an inclusive process that involves the community at each phase so that we can make the most of the small remaining piece of greenspace at Toowong and to minimise damage to greenspace at West End.”

Sebastian Vanderzeil from West End Community Association is more hesitant about the bridge.

We like the idea of creating more liveability through active transport. Higher-density urban areas like West End should be serviced by greater social infrastructure.”

Mr Vanderzeil said WECA focuses on pressing priorities, green space, and congestion issues across the peninsula. 

“This is not a Montague Road congestion-busting bridge. All of the analysis shows that it will likely primarily be used for recreational use. We need an active and public transport solution to Montague Road.”

“We are very concerned about a Toowong to West End green bridge damaging Cranbrook Place and the Sorry area as well as taking even more green space from our community. We have advocated for no net loss of greenspace for these bridges.”

“For active transport, we need to go to the busiest, most necessary places first and that’s Vulture Street. We need a safe Vulture Street cycling lane. We need infrastructure for active transport that alleviates bottlenecks and saves people.”

Mr Vanderzeil said WECA wants a more comprehensive and integrated approach to the increasing densification in West End.

“We’re seeing increased densification along Montague Road, with the TLPI, and we ask how Council plans to tie this all together. How do they deal with flood vulnerability and with green bridges and ferry exposure to flood and Montague Road congestion? There is no overarching plan from Council covering all of these issues.”


Cover image, Toowong to West End Green Bridge concept design