O U N D A T I O N   E X P O  ' 8 8
Progressing the World Expo '88 Vision
- A non-government not-for-profit entity celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 -

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About World Expo '88

Chronology of Milestone Events

Excerpt from:
'Report of the Commissioner General of Expo 88 on the Australian Government's Involvement in Expo 88' (1988)
Published by the Commissioner-General, Expo '88.

The original of this document is available for viewing at the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, or via participating Australian Library Inter-Library Loan Request.

Note: For further information regarding the selection and bid process, please refer to the article in
the Academic Forum by Professor Peter Carroll
"The Origins of World Expo '88" (PDF)

1974                Registration of Australia's interest in staging an International Exposition in 1988 first lodged with the Bureau of                            International Exhibitions (B.I.E.) Paris

1978                The proposal to stage an international exposition in Australia during its bicentennial year was first advanced                                  by a Commonwealth Task Force in 1978.

1979               With the support of the Australian Bicentennial Authority, both New South Wales and Victoria agreed to help                                 investigate the feasibility of hosting an Exposition in Sydney or Melbourne in 1988.

Jan 1981         In a joint announcement the Fraser and Wran Governments reluctantly decide that, with a capital outlay as                                    high as $1 billion, it was impracticable for them to agree to make the necessary funds available for an                                           exposition in 1988.

Dec 1982        The Australian Government, at the request of the Queensland Government, again advised the B.I.E. Paris,                                     that Australia intended to seek registration for a specialised Exposition to take place in Brisbane between 30                                 April and 30 October 1988.

April 1983        A delegation from the B.I.E. visited Australia to examine the Australian Government's bid to be host nation                                   and Brisbane's bid to stage Expo '88.

June 1983       Formal application to register Expo 88 was lodged by the Australian Government

Dec 1983        The General Assembly of the BIE voted in favour of the Australian Government's application and Expo 88 was                               registered as a six-month international specialised exposition with the theme "Leisure in the Age of                                               Technology" in Australia's Bi-Centennial year. It was the first Exposition to be staged in the Southern                                           Hemisphere this century. The General Regulations and Draft Participation Contracts were adopted by the                                     B.I.E.

Jan 1984        The Expo 88 Ministerial Council was established to oversight arrangements for Expo 88 and the first meeting                                was held.

Feb 1984        Expressions of Interest called for Project Management

Feb 1984        The Expo 88 Authority was established by an Act of the Queensland Parliament. The Hon Sir Llewellyn                                         Edwards is appointed Chairman.

March 1984    The Australian Government, on the nomination of the Queensland Government, appointed the Hon Sir                                            Edward Williams, KCMG, KBE, Commissioner-General of Expo 88

March 1984     Appointment of General Manager

June 1984       Second meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

June 1984       Appointment of Master Architect (preliminary work from Dec 1982 for Expo Investigation Committee)

June 1984       Appointment of Project Manager

Sept 1984       The Prime Minister of Australia extended invitations to participate in Expo 88 to the Governments of all                                         countries with which Australia enjoyed normal relations. Britain became the first country to indicate it's                                         acceptance of the Prime Minister's invitation.

Nov 1984        Project Manager's Initial Report

Jan 1985        The Australian Bicentennial Authority formally endorsed Expo 88 as a significant event in the program of                                        Australia's Bicentenary celebrations.

March 1985    Third meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

April 1985       Appointment of Project Manager, confirmed

July 1985       Appointment of Site Development Director and creation of Site Development Division

July 1985       Commencement of demolition works on site

Aug 1985       Placement of order for Sunsails

Sept 1985      Commencement of earthworks on site

Dec 1985       The fourth and final meeting of the Expo 88 Ministerial Council

Jan 1986        Commencement of construction of modular pavilions

Feb 1986       Placement of order for monorail

May 1986      Commencement of construction of Sunsails

May 1986      Commencement of construction of monorail track
Aug 1986      Commencement of installation of site services

Nov 1986       Launch of official mascot ' Expo Oz', an Australian platypus

Dec 1986       500 Days to Go celebration

Feb 1987       First meeting of the College of Commissioners-General was convened under the chairmanship of the                                             Commissioner-General of World Expo 88. Mr Hugh Tunnell (Commissioner-General UK section) elected as                                   interim President of the Steering Committee of the College.

March 1987    Commencement of landscaping works

April 1987      Appointment of Creative Director

June 1987     Second meeting of the College of Commissioners-General

June 1987     Monorail system commissioned

Oct 1987       Third meeting of the College of Commissioners-General. Dr Damaso de Lario (Commissioner-General Spain)                                 elected President of the Steering Committee of the College of Commissioners-General

Oct 1987       Completion of Boardwalk construction

Oct 1987       Handover of completed pavilions to participants

Nov 1987       Some sunsails damaged during violent electrical storm

Dec 1987      Commencement of foundations for the 88-metre Sky Needle a.k.a. "Night Companion"

Dec 1987      Sunsail catenary lighting switched on for the first time

Jan 1988       Commencement of construction of Sunsail number 8

Feb 1988      'Time Square' Neon Ceiling construction commenced

March 1988    Entertainment venues completed

March 1988    Sculpture installation commenced

March 1988    Installation of entry gates

April 1988      Completion of installation of landscaping and sitescaping elements

April 1988      Fourth Meeting of the College of Commissioners-General

April 30 1988  Her Majesty the Queen of Australia opens World Expo '88

Oct 30 1988   Closing of World Expo '88. Bureau of International Exhibitions Flag is passed to Osaka Garden Expo '90 and                                Universal Exposition of Seville '92    

Post-closure    Demolition of pavilions, sunsails and monorail.
                      Removal of Japanese Garden to Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens
                      Removal of "Night Companion" to South Brisbane 'Stefan' HQ
                      Removal of the Nepalese Pagoda to riverside siting

                      All assets and liabilities from the Expo Authority rolled-over into the new "South Bank Corporation"

1992              South Bank Parklands opens to the public

                      Visit the South Bank web-site  http://www.south-bank.net.au