an image of the floating restaurant drift on the Brisbane river, damaged by flood

Drift restaurant removal after 2022 Brisbane floods cost taxpayers $3.8 million

Taxpayers have forked out $3.8 million to remove a flood-damaged restaurant from Brisbane’s Bicentennial Bikeway and river after it was damaged in this year’s floods.

The structure of the former floating restaurant known as Drift was swept onto the Bicentennial Bikeway during the late February floods.

The state government then enacted special powers to remove the 200-tonne pontoon in late March, under the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Act, which had only been exercised once before following the 2011 floods.

The state government in late March said an independent engineering report had found serious safety issues with the structure, warning “in its current state, the pontoon is considered to be at risk of immediate and sudden collapse.”

Workers in April began cutting the structure into several sections in order to remove it from the bikeway.