All G20 leaders now in Brisbane for summit

All G20 leaders and invited guests have arrived in Brisbane for the biggest international summit Australia has hosted.


Australia’s special guest, New Zealand’s John Key, was the final arrival, touching down at the special G20 terminal at Brisbane Airport about 9.40am.

Earlier on Saturday, US President Barack Obama made a spectacular entrance into Brisbane via helicopter Marine One.

The presidential plane, Air Force One, touched down at Amberley RAAF base southwest of Brisbane shortly before 6am, where President Obama was greeted by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Attorney-General George Brandis and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.

The US leader is scheduled to take time out from the global forum to deliver an invitation-only speech at the University of Queensland on Saturday.

His speech will focus on US leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.

Just before the president touched down, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and his wife also arrived for the summit of world leaders, which officially gets underway on Saturday.

Residents of Macrossan Street, about 50 metres from the president’s hotel, said they were excited to have the world’s most powerful man staying in their neighbourhood.

“It’s pretty exciting he’s moved in so close. It’s a pity we didn’t get invited for breakfast,” Graham Harrison told AAP.

“It’s an honour to have the president here in my street. It puts Brisbane on the map,” Jacqui Wood said.

France’s president Francois Hollande had a more subdued arrival at Brisbane Airport, where he was met by Queensland Health Minister John-Paul Langbroek.

Leaders of the European Commission, European Union, ILO, and UN, Myanmar and Senegal are also in Brisbane.

Late on Friday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in quick succession.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Spanish MP Mariano Rajoy and Mauritanian President and African Union chair Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz also jetted in on Friday.

Host nations are allowed to invite their own guests. As president of the G20 this year Australia is inviting Mauritania, Myanmar, New Zealand, Senegal and Singapore.

The leaders will gather at Queensland’s Parliament House for a retreat and lunch before the formalities of the G20 summit get underway on Saturday afternoon at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre at South Bank.