While much of the nation was in COVID-19 lockdown, QUT journalism students were busy preparing content for their new online magazine, produced via a ‘virtual newsroom’.
Optimising opportunities linked to the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development has near-neighbours the State Government, QUT and The Star Entertainment Group signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
“This is more than just formalising a good-neighbour relationship. It’s about identifying and supporting the mutually beneficial opportunities this massive project offers,” said Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones.
“It’s simple - the State wants the transformational Queen’s Wharf to drive growth in Brisbane and the regions - QUT has a unique opportunity to support students and research - and The Star Group is joining to support leading-edge research driving industry best-practice.”
The MOU recognises that QWB will have a range of impacts including delivering benefits such as massive new tourism investment, creating an internationally-recognised precinct attracting millions of local and international visitors, a redefining of Brisbane River’s public access, and further promoting SEQ’s social interaction.
“QWB is also set to create 2000 construction jobs and support up to 10,000 jobs during operation.
“One-in-four additional jobs expected to be created in Brisbane’s CBD over the next 15 years will be at QWB.”
“The MOU’s associated ground-breaking Longitudinal Benefits and Impacts Study (LBIS) with the collaboration of - government, industry and the research sector is essential for monitoring the precinct’s benefits.
“The time to start monitoring and capturing QWB’s benefits and impacts is now – at the start. By doing this we will better understand QWB’s overall benefits and impacts.”
The MOU elements vary from supporting internships, training and study programs to researching gambling impact and best practice for reporting data and host site metrics.
Former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson AO APM will chair the Study’s associated new Gambling Impact Advisory Committee.
Ms Jones said Mr Atkinson and the seven committee members from across Australia were high-calibre individuals capable of providing expert advice.
“Mr Atkinson is an outstanding citizen. He is a Queenslander ideally suited to this role.”
“Establishment of this committee reflects the seriousness of the issue and the government’s intention to develop social policy around it that is of benefit to Queenslanders.”
The Study (LBIS) will be led by QUT Distinguished Professor of Statistical Science Kerrie Mengersen who said three key areas would be studied: gambling impact, connectivity and public sentiment.
“This is the first time a study of this nature and scale has been commissioned,” Professor Mengersen said.
“We will be collecting and analysing data across a range of potential impacts from the outset.
“For the Gambling Impact Study, this information will be made available to advisory committee members and policy makers so that it can be proactively improved and any negative impacts that arise minimised.
“For the Connectivity Study, data will tell us the volume and patterns of pedestrian, private and public traffic to and from the precinct and how easy it is to access South East Queensland tourist destinations.
“Data that can lead to understanding public sentiment on various topics related to Queen’s Wharf will also be analysed to determine how to better manage the new precinct.”
Professor Mengersen said the data would provide an evidence base for subsequent decisions made not just in relation to the QWB project, but elsewhere in Queensland.
She said the unique transdisciplinary study was being managed by QUT’s Institute for Future Environments.
The intention is for the study to measure the development’s impact over a 20-year timeframe.
The Gambling Impact Advisory Committee members are:
Dr Darren Wraith, Senior Lecturer (Biostatistics), QUT
Dr Wraith is the Chief Investigator for the gambling impact component of the Longitudinal Benefits and Impacts Study: Phase 1. Dr Wraith has previously been involved in analysing the results from the Victorian Gambling Study (longitudinal study).
Dr Peter Miller, Professor of Psychology, Deakin University
Dr Peter Miller is Professor of Violence Prevention and Addiction Studies at the School of Psychology, Deakin University. Dr Miller has recently completed three of the largest studies ever conducted into licensed venues, comparing 11 Australian cities (and Wellington, NZ) over 5 years and talking to more than 15,000 patrons.
Dr Charles Livingstone, Senior Lecturer School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University
Dr Charles Livingstone is Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He is course convenor of the Honours degree of Bachelor of Health Science, and teaches health policy, health systems, and politics into the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. He is also head of the Gambling and Social Determinants unit within SPHPM. He has research degrees in economics and social theory. Dr Livingstone current principal research interest is critical gambling studies, including in particular gambling policy reform and the politics, regulation and social impacts of electronic gambling machine (EGM) gambling. Dr Livingstone is a regular contributor to public debate via popular media, in particular around issues such as the social impact of EGMs. He was a member of the Australian Government’s Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling 2010-2012.
Associate Professor Mathew Browne, Lecturer in research methods and statistics, Central Queensland University
Associate Professor Matthew Browne has been at Central Queensland University for over 6 years researching a range of diverse topics, and contributing statistical and analytical expertise to a wide variety of projects in the social sciences. His current projects include work in problem gambling, bereavement, sexual risk taking, religious belief, and cognitive delusions. Associate Professor Browne supervises PhD students and honours students in psychology, has authored over 40 academic articles, is leading two major projects in measuring gambling related harm, and is currently involved in over $1m of funded research projects.
Professor Paul Delfabbro, Psychology, University of Adelaide
Professor Delfabbro has worked at the University of Adelaide since 2001 and lectures in learning theory, methodology and statistics. His principle research interests are in the area of behavioural addictions (gambling and technology), as well as child protection and out-of-home care. Most of Professor Delfabbro’s research involves statistical analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys and experimental studies.
The chances of the LNP winning enough seats to take the reins of government hinges upon the voters of the North and Far North Queensland, many of whom put minor parties or independents first on the ballot.