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The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, popular resort areas immediately south and north of Brisbane, respectively.

Several large cultural, international and sporting events have been held at Brisbane, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88, the final Goodwill Games in 2001, and the 2014 G-20 summit.

During this era, Brisbane grew and modernised rapidly becoming a destination of interstate migration.

Some of Brisbane's popular landmarks were lost, including the Bellevue Hotel in 1979 and Cloudland in 1982, demolished in controversial circumstances by the Deen Brothers demolition crew.

These immigrants were selected and assisted through immigration programs established by John Dunmore Lang and Johann Christian Heussler and were offered free passage, good wages and selections of land.