Just two days to prepare for 'leader of the free world'

IT TOOK just two days to transform the sleepy student suburb of St Lucia into a secure host for US President Barack Obama's address at the University of Queensland.

Though uniformed police, barricades and security forces replaced the general student population on campus, locals remained immune to the pomp and ceremony of the G20.

Many of the onlookers who endured almost 40-degree heat just to catch a glimpse of the President's motorcade preferred to take a more casual approach to the events.

"It's more comfortable on a picnic blanket watching from the outside, I can't imagine being cooped up in a hall today" Brisbane resident Jamie Kayten said.

UQ student Patrick Hughes made the best of his location, pitching a chair in his front yard.

"We thought about going in but figured we could see just about as much from here," Mr Hughes said.

"It's great to see what's happening and watching it with a beer in hand makes it all the more Australian."

Despite preparation for a larger crowd, officials almost outnumbered the enthusiastic group of 400 onlookers that welcomed Mr Obama.


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