Progressing the World Expo '88 Vision
- A non-government not-for-profit entity celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 -
About World Expo '88
Chronology of Milestone Events
'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