G20 leaders moved out of Brisbane

A shortage of presidential-standard hotel suites in Brisbane has meant that some world leaders at the G20 Summit in November will be accommodated away from the city.

According to The Australian, organisers of the meeting have revealed that an undisclosed number of them will stay at Sanctuary Cove, nearly an hour’s drive from Brisbane.

The Australian understands that as many as three leaders could be put up at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, one of 11 hotels earmarked for use by the leaders during the summit on 15-16 November. Test runs for helicopter monitored motorcades between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, 20 minutes further by road than Sanctuary Cove, were conducted recently.

The plan would allow leaders to speed to and from the meeting venue at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in road corridors secured by traffic police.

The luxurious Pallazzo Versace Hotel on Southport Spit was under early consideration as a so-called sole-use venue but is no longer in the mix, possibly due to road access issues with the area’s notoriously congested traffic. G20 organisers are in the process of negotiating with a number of the designated hotels to upgrade their premium rooms for use by leaders. The G20 Taskforce insists only “minor modifications” will be required.

Organisers have block-booked more than 7000 hotel rooms in Brisbane, most of its existing stock, to accommodate the official delegations and anticipated 3000 journalists who will cover the $370 million summit, according to The Australian.

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