'Brisbane's coming of age has been announced a number of times, most recently with millennial-expansiveness, in its claim to be the Creative City leading the Smart State. Over the past 15 years the city has spawned new enterprises, a new generation of artists, new cultural policies, new public buildings, and a new sense of grace. With an ugly past left largely unexplained, the focus is on the present and the ambitions for the city. While government and the mainstream media look to the future of the New Brisbane, it has been the role of writers, artists and a few historians to examine the past as part of the task of fully inhabiting the city. This article provides a discourse with Ross Fitzgerald about some of the above mentioned issues.'