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Our Town - Part Seven

Thursday, October 08, 2009
Brisbane, looking gorgeous.
The past twenty years have seen Brisbane grow and grow.

Currently ranked the fastest growing 'mature' city in the world, the city really developed in the '90s and '00s.

I (Mr Speech) moved here at the tail end of 1992, when Brisbane was mostly regarded as a large country town, on a coast dominated by the twin commercial hubs of Sydney and Melbourne.

At that time, the town had only two professional sports teams - the Broncos (of the then NSWRL rugby league) and the Brisbane Bullets (now defunct and hopefully soon to be resurrected NBL basketball team).

The Brisbane Bullets' most recent logo.
It's been a town which has taken its southern slights personally.

Nevertheless, it has become less ruralised and more cosmpolitan; out of a population of around 2.15 million, almost three hundred and fifty thousand were born in another country.

And that means a certain cultural savoir-faire which to be honest is probably quite common in most major western cities. It means Thai cuisine, a Chinatown, Swedish backpackers in Queen Street Mall and a lingering Britishness among the older residents.

Brisbane's history has been bluntly quiet for much of the past twenty years - almost as if it held its breath while catching up to the bigger boys.

But when history strikes, it strikes hard. The 2011 floods made news around the world as much of the inner city went underwater and the conditions tested the will of these Queenslanders. They did alright, really. Pulled together and helped each other.

A possible future view of Brisbane.
Brisbane is on the verge of a global city and the newly conservative state government, with Brisbane City Council is being forced to look very closely at plans to settle around two hundred thousand people in twenty years.

A former settlement for the hardest of inmates. A flood plain which gets what you'd expect. MacArthur's headquarters. Dynamo of Australia.

Say hi to Brisbane.
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