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Wikimania 2009/Bids/Brisbane

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Brisbane is a city of 1.8 million people located in the state of Queensland, Australia. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the Oceania region, with booming financial, information technology and service industry sectors. As the third-largest city on the Australian continent, with an increasingly sophisticated multicultural community, as well as its close proximity to the world-famous Gold Coast resort and beach city, it is ideally placed to be a memorable location to host Wikimania 2009.

City details[edit]

A view of Brisbane City from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

Conference venue[edit]

The Brisbane Convention Centre.

The conference venue will be the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC). It is located centrally in Brisbane, and is within easy walking distance of most CBD accomodation, attractions, and public transport. (Google Maps Link). The BCEC is an established conference venue with an experienced staff, other conferences coming up there include the Australian International Education Conference later in 2008, the 2010 IFLA World Libraries Congress, and the 2010 IFIP World Computer Congress. In its eleven years of operation, the centre has received 89 industry awards for excellence.


  1. Main hall: The Plaza Terrace room has been recommended by BCEC. This room has a maximum capacity of 1006 people in "Theatre" configuration, and therefore should easily be able to meet our requirements. Multiple seating configurations are possible depending upon the number of attendees. For more information, see [1].
  2. Seminar rooms: The venue has suggested use of rooms P1 to P5 on the plaza level. Hire of these rooms is included in the quote below. For more information on these rooms, see [2].
  3. Lounge facilities: There is a licenced café in the facility. In addition, there is a large dining and entertainment precinct (South Bank) within 1km of the location.
Map of Central Brisbane, showing the location of the convention centre (click image to zoom)


A price quote has been received from the venue, which covers rooms P1 to P5, the Plaza Terrace Room, and use of the Plaza Foyer for catering and networking. This quote includes the provision of a dedicated professional event manager and floor coordinator (thus freeing up volunteers to concentrate on other things), as well as presentation equipment. This quote has also been received from the venue to handle the catering for the event, including two full meals as well as morning and afternoon teas.

The details of this quote is "commercial in confidence", but has been provided via email to the Jury. If you missed it, or need another copy, it can be provided by User:Lankiveil upon request.

Proposed budget[edit]

This a rough outline of the proposed budget, with cost conversions rounded off. It may be subject to change.

Item Notes Cost
Venue Hire At BCEC, Rooms P1 to P5, Plaza Terrace room, (all on the Plaza level) 15000 ~14000
Catering 2 full meals and refreshments for 500 55000 ~51000
Conference Materials Maps, programmes, etc 5000 ~4600
Promotions Covered by dedicated sponsor Brisbane Marketing 0 0
Technical Facilities Provided by BCEC 0 0
Party location hire* Streets Beach, an artificial beach at the South Bank Parklands 5000 ~4600
Assistance** Scholarships and Travel costs 20000 ~18500
Miscellaneous cleaning, security, etc. 5000 ~4600
Total 105,000 ~97,500

Price conversions made using 1 AUD = ~0.93 USD

* One of the meals in the catering package may be used in conjunction with this external venue for the general party.
** Additional grants could be secured from the Australian government for this.

Technical Facilities[edit]

  • Audio-Visual facilities are provided by the venue, as is Internet connectivity.
  • There are WiFi hotspots throughout within the centre ([3]).


In accordance with Queensland law, the centre has a full range of accessibility provisions for the disabled. All levels are wheelchair accessible, restrooms for the disabled are present on all levels, and centre staff are fully trained on customer service and disability awareness. A multi channel infrared translation system for the sight and hearing impaired is also available if needed.

More information is available on the "Public Access" page of the centre's website, available here: [4].


The BCEC is a venue is sensitive to protecting the environment, and encouraging sustainable practices. For this reason, they have a policy of "reducing our environmental impact, with a specific focus on water, energy and waste". You can read a copy of the BCEC's sustainability statement here (PDF link)


Location of Accomodation Facilities[edit]

Offsite accomodation. There are a large number of hotels and other accomodation within walking distance of the conference centre. These range from backpacker-style accomodation to luxury accomodation.

Room Details & Price Range[edit]

The price of accomodation near the venue (~1km) tends to range from $A100 (~90 USD) to $A250 (~225 USD) per night, depending on the quality of the hotel. Many cheaper hostels may be found, most being slightly further from the venue (~1-5km), but with an extensive transport network (#Local Transportation), there should be no major problems. Most hostel prices are below $A70 (~63 USD) per night for 1-2 people and below $A30 (~27 USD) per night, per person for rooms holding 3-8 people.


Our quote includes a full catering suite provided by the venue. In addition, there is an extensive club and restaurant scene in Brisbane. The cost of a good-quality dinner meal tends to top out at $25 ($23 USD), whereas a fast food meal (burger/chips/softdrink) can be had for under $10 ($9 USD). Most hotels will have on-premises restaurants or other dining establishments. The South Bank parklands area adjacent to the venue has a wide variety of food outlets, ranging from classy restaurants to fast-food options such as Subway or Sushi. Fresh seafood is a Brisbane specialty and is widely available.

Party opportunities[edit]

The artificial beach and lagoon at South Bank Parklands. Our quote includes exclusive hire of this area to hold the attendee's party and BBQ.

Wikimania traditionally hosts two parties, one for attendees (capacity of 250-350) and one for sponsors and VIPs (capacity 40-60).

There are a number of entertainment precincts in Brisbane, ranging from upmarket dining (Racecourse Road-Hamilton, Queen Street), to club hotspots (Fortitude Valley), and in between (South Bank, Albion Mill, Breakfast Creek). A location can be arranged at a later date based upon the tastes of the attendees.

It is proposed at this point that all delegates and attendees will be welcomed to the conference at a traditional style "Aussie BBQ" at the Southbank Parklands, which are just a short walk from the proposed venue.

Travel and transportation[edit]

Air flights[edit]

Flight costs listed are to Brisbane International Airport

The following table was made on 26 Jan, 2008, using information from expedia.com for 30 July to August 3, 2008. There is currently no information for August 2009.

Qanta Airways Limited will have a dedicated webpage with more detailed and precise flight information for Wikimania 09 Brisbane in the future, allowing for much easier and simpler booking.

North America
From Cost in USD Airline
Los Angeles $ 1423 Qantas Airways
New York $ 1737 Qantas Airways
Mexico City $ 2114 Mexicana
San Francisco $ 1437 Qantas Airways
Toronto $ 2210 Air New Zealand
South America
From Cost in USD Airline
Buenos Aires $1848 LAN Airlines
Brasilia $4163 LAN Airlines
From Cost in USD Airline
Osaka $ 2436 Korean Air
Tokyo $ 2533 Korean Air
Beijing $ 2149 Korean Air
Mumbai $ 2049 Qantas Airways
Abu Dhabi $ 4097 China Airlines
Riyadh $ 2787 Emirates
From Cost in USD Airline
Berlin $ 1844 Lufthansa
London $ 2292 British Airways
Paris $ 2079 Qantas Airways
Rome $ 2308 Lufthansa
Athens $ 2552 Emirates
Moscow $ 2348 Lufthansa
From Cost in USD Airline
Sydney $ 362 Qantas Airways
Melbourne $ 456 Qantas Airways
Auckland $ 585 Air New Zealand
From Cost in USD Airline
Cairo $ 2844 Emirates
Cape Town $ 1537 South African Airways
Dar es Salaam $ 3857 Emirates
Tunis $ 2781 Air France
Casablanca $ 2340 Air France

Brisbane is a very well-connected city, and there are 25 international airlines that fly into Brisbane directly, with 58,000 international seats a week. Getting to Brisbane should not be a problem from most major centres.

Getting to the Venue[edit]

Brisbane Airport is located within 10km of the city. There is a commuter train (the Airtrain) that runs between the Airport and the city heart every fifteen minutes. One of our sponsors (Brisbane Marketing) has arranged for conference signage at the airport, as well as discounted fares for conference delegates to travel to and from Brisbane on the airtrain.

Local Transportation[edit]

A Brisbane CityCat

Brisbane has an extensive public transport network, including trains, buses, and ferries. These all run by Translink, which coordinates all public transport in Southeast Queensland. All Translink public transport uses integrating ticketing, which is also accepted by some private operators. The South Brisbane Railway Station is adjacent to the conference venue, as is the Cultural Centre Busway Station. Both stations offer high-frequency passenger services both into the CBD and out to Brisbane's suburbs.

A unique feature of Brisbane's public transport system is the CityCat, public transport catamarans that have become a tourist attraction in their own right. CityCats offer a high-speed transport service up and down the Brisbane river, including a stop at South Bank Parklands that is within easy walking distance from the conference venue. CityCat fares are included within the integrated Translink fare structure.

As well as public transport, Brisbane also has an extensive taxi fleet, and major international car rental companies like Avis, Europcar and Budget are well-established.

Social opportunties[edit]

As noted above, there are a number of high-quality entertainment precincts within Brisbane that offer a wide range of culinary choices, from fine dining to fast food. Fresh seafood is a Brisbane specialty and is widely available.


Map outlining visa/ETA requirements for different countries. (Click image to zoom)
  • New Zealand citizens do not need a Visa to enter Australia, and may stay indefinitely.
  • Citizens of some countries are eligible to apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to enter the country, instead of a visa. ETAs can be applied for over the internet, but there is a $20 (US$18.30 as of 22 February 2008) application fee to do so. More information is located on the website of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website here.
  • The Australian government offers a special service to assist in the organisation of visas and other entry documents for persons entering the country to attend conferences. For more information, see [5] and [6]

Tourism Opportunities[edit]

There are numerous sites that may be of tourist interest around Brisbane, such as:

  • The Gold Coast/Surfers Paradise beach district south of Brisbane, accessible by train or highway.
  • The Sunshine Coast/Noosa beach district north of Brisbane, also accessible from Brisbane via a train with bus connection if you do not have a vehicle.
  • "Australia Zoo", made famous by the late "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin, is within easy driving distance of Brisbane at Beerwah. A shuttle bus service is operated by local transport provider "Queensland Rail".
  • Several theme parks located at the Gold Coast, including Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie World, etc.

Local sponsorship opportunities[edit]

Brisbane by night

Negotiations with the a number of organisations are ongoing. However, we have already secured:

  • $20,000 AUD (~18,000 USD) from the key Convention Partners in Brisbane. These monies can be spent at the discretion of the committee and it suggested that they contribute to assisting with venue, catering and social event costs
  • $5,000 AUD (~4,500 USD) for "delegate boosting", from Brisbane Marketing. These funds are for activities such as providing signage and information within the city for conference attendees. It also includes a reduced rate of travel on the Airtrain from the Airport to Brisbane City, from $A24 return currently to $A15 (~22 USD to ~14 USD).
  • Qantas Airways Limited has written a letter of support for the bid, offering a 24 hour dedicated webpage containing flight information, "discounted international conference airfares for delegates" and "one complimentary domestic airfare for every fifty airfares sold to assist with keynote speaker travel".
  • The University of Queensland Library has offered use of their meeting and conference facilities for satellite events.

It is expected that further local sponsorship can be arranged before the conference begins.

Letters of support[edit]

Brisbane's bid has received a number of letters of support from local businesses and organisations:

Local team[edit]

This bid is being organised by en:User:Lankiveil. There is a large number of Wikipedians active in Brisbane and the surrounding area. The 'Wikipedians in Queensland' category can be used as a rough list of 'possible volunteers', residents or locals in this relative location (Brisbane and surrounds).

A list of volunteers who have expressed an interest in the bid is available:

Username Participation Real Name (optional) Role / Available For
User:Lankiveil English Wikipedia, Irish Wikipedia, English Wikinews (admin) Craig Franklin Bid Team Leader, Sponsorship and Venue Liaison
User:Giggy English Wikipedia, Commons (admin) (Full list on userpage) Alex G "The word on the street"...as in, whatever you need help with...
User:Zero1328 English Wikipedia
User:E English Wikipedia (admin)
User:MichelleG English Wikipedia
User:Littleteddy English Wikipedia Don't know. Might (and that's a small might) be able to attend. Probably not. Would help with online aspect.
User:Ansell English Wikipedia Peter Ansell Anything, study at QUT Gardens Point so available for city business
User:Nicholas Perkins English Wikipedia Nicholas Perkins Brisbanite who will assist when and where needed.
User:Pallmall Norfuk Wikipedia (admin) Non-resident in Brisbane, but I will help however I can


Nighttime view of the beach at South Bank


The currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD, $A or $), which at time of writing traded at a rate of approximately 1 AUD = 0.90 USD.[7] There are moneychanging facilities available at the International Airport and throughout the Brisbane CBD, in addition most banks will happily exchange most common currencies for Australian dollars. Mastercard, VISA, Diners, and American Express are all commonly accepted in Australia, as are Maestro or Cirrus debit cards. Cash in currencies other than the Australian dollar will usually not be accepted as payment by local merchants.

Foreign currency $AU per foreign unit
Median Rate
United States Dollar 1.10
United Kingdom Pound 2.12
Euro 1.60
Brazilian Real 0.63
Foreign currency $AU per foreign unit
Median rate
Canadian Dollar 1.08
Switzerland Franc 1
Japanese Yen 0.01

(Source: Google Currency Conversion)


Brisbane is well-connected to Australian and international media sources. The major English-language newspapers include The Courier Mail, The Australian. Other major Australian papers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Financial Review are widely available, as are many foreign newspapers.

Brisbane has six free-to-air television stations, including a multilingual television station (SBS TV), and a community television station (31 Brisbane). In addition, foreign news channels such as CNN, BBC World, Al-Jazeera and Fox News are widely available on pay TV and in most hotels. Brisbane also receives a number of radio stations, including the public networks run by the ABC and the multilingual services offered by SBS Radio 1. There are also a number of commercial radio stations in the city.


Brisbane is one of the safest cities in the world, with its crime rates below the national and international averages for cities of its size. The BCEC also has extensive security facilities, including 33 security personnel, surveillance cameras, and other security systems and procedures.


Weaknesses, and strategies to deal with them[edit]

Issue: Brisbane is a long way from North America or Europe.

Response: Brisbane is being touted by the Queensland Government as the "Gateway to Australia", and while that's a marketing slogan, it has grains of accuracy in it. Travel times and costs to Brisbane are often lower than to destinations like Sydney or Melbourne due to the city's close proximity to Asia. Travellers coming from Asia will usually find that airfares and travel times to Australia are lower than those to European or North American destinations.


  1. Although it will be winter in Brisbane at the time of the conference, winters in Brisbane are very mild, and the climate should be agreeable to most attendees. Temperatures rarely leave the 10C to 20C band during this time, and rainfall is rare during winter months.
  2. Wikimania has yet to visit Oceania, or indeed anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere. Holding Wikimania in Brisbane would be consistent with the stated goal of geographical diversity.
  3. Australia itself is one of the more densely populated regions, in terms of Wikimedians.
  4. Australia is a stable liberal democracy, and Brisbane itself is a multicultural and gay-friendly destination. 21.7% of Brisbane's population was born outside of Australia, and the city has a booming Chinatown district, as well as a growing South Asian community with its own newspapers and radio stations. The annual "Queen's Birthday Ball" is the longest continually running gay event in the world, the 2009 event will be the 48th consecutive ball.
  5. Brisbane is a unique and memorable destination; it offers easy and affordable access to internationally recognised tourist attractions and natural wonders. Beaches, islands, rainforests and unique wildlife can all be found within one hours proximity. Bringing Wikimania to Brisbane would offer Wikimedians a once in a life time opportunity to participate in such unique and memorable, world class experiences.
  6. Australia's ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) programme makes obtaining a visa to enter the country very easy, by eliminating cumbersome and unnecessary paperwork.