Campbell Newman investigating secret tunnel link between 1 William St \’tower of power\’ and State Parliament
ROBYN IRONSIDE THE COURIER-MAIL NOVEMBER 29, 2013 12:00AM
THE flash new tower of power being built for state government ministers and their staff is set to have its own private tunnel from 1 William Street to Parliament.
Premier Campbell Newman had asked for more information on a possible link between the new Executive Building and Parliament, his office confirmed yesterday.
Stretching about 100m, the tunnel would provide underground access for ministers from the basement of 1WS to the parliamentary annexe carpark.
Only those with security clearance would be able to use the walkway, which would allow ministers to move between the two buildings undetected.
The tunnel would also help ministers avoid the hectic traffic between the two buildings.
The Courier-Mail understands there is already a tunnel from the annexe to about halfway across Alice St, commissioned by then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1979.
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Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said it appeared the man who gave Brisbane the Clem7 tunnel was planning another for his own private use.
\”Everyone is familiar with the Premier\’s fondness for tunnels that cost a fortune and go nowhere,\” Ms Palaszczuk said.
\”But now he will build himself a shiny new walkway between his new office in the shiny new executive palace in Brisbane to his own office in Parliament – and that would be offensive if it was not so ridiculous.\”
Campbell Newman was stoked with the Clem7 tunnel when he was Lord Mayor. Now he may get his own secret passage to parliament.
She said taxpayers should not have to pay the $14 million for \”this vanity project\”.
\”It was the Bjelke-Petersen government that built the Parliamentary Annexe (in 1979) and for years rumours have circulated that his government had planned a similar tunnel from the existing Executive Building,\” Ms Palaszczuk said.
\”Tunnel vision is now repeating itself with this LNP Government.\”
The Courier-Mail recently highlighted the similarities between Newman-ruled Queensland and Batman\’s fictitious hometown of Gotham City, and a secret passageway would fit right in.
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The $653 million, 43-storey office tower is being built by CBUS Property and will be leased back by the Government.
As well as about 4000 senior public servants, ministers and staff, the tower will accommodate up to 1000 private-sector employees.
Construction began this year and is expected to be completed by 2016.
The Courier-Mail reported yesterday that under plans circulated by Projects Queensland, ministers will occupy the top 11 floors, and departmental staff the next 20.
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All 19 cabinet ministers are expected to be housed in the building, away from their departments.
Batman also had a tunnel. Premier Campbell Newman as Batman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie as Robin. (Image digitally altered)