Queenslanders are anticipating a significant increase in infrastructure and construction activity – especially in the south-east after the details of the long awaited South East Queensland City Deal was announced late last month. The initiative is seeing a hefty $1.8 billion being invested into over thirty projects across Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast and is expected to generate more than 2,000 jobs in total(Cramsie, 2022). All projects will have a focus on upgrading the region’s transport network, the digital network and the region’s “liveability” and according to the Planning Institute of Australia president Shannon Batch, is the largest city deal signed in the country (Cramsie, 2022). This is partly because all three levels of government are contributing to funding, along with money to also come from industry; the federal government is investing $667.77 million, Queensland Government is providing $618.78 million and the Council of Mayors of South East Queensland is to jointly tip in $501.62 million(State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, 2022). According to the Queensland Government, the aim of the joint investment commitment from all three levels of government is to accelerate a faster, more connected and liveable region overall, while accelerating future jobs.
According to the Queensland Government, the population of South East Queensland alone is expected to reach 5.4 million people 2041. growth an extra 1.5 million people (State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, 2022). It has become one of the fastest growing regions in the country and consequently, both the Australian and the Queensland State government are focusing on what infrastructure, employment and overall liveability goals need to be met in order to prepare and facilitate this growth.
Furthermore, the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games are 10 years away and require an added level of infrastructure to be fast-tracked, which has put an added incentive for the city deal to charge ahead. Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games was billed as an opportunity to enhance infrastructure across the region and now with the bid secure, both Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk believe this City Deal will help ensure the state is in the best position possible to host a successful 2032 Olympics(Pavitt,2022). Furthermore, Deputy Premier and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure Steven Miles, says the next key goal for Olympic preparation is to develop a project pipeline for the six new venues, eight upgraded venues and three athletes’ villages on the Sunshine and Gold coasts and at Northshore Hamilton in addition to all the transport links. The construction manager of said pipeline is yet to be announced but the preparation translates to a 10-year pipeline of construction jobs, trade and investment opportunities(Moore, 2022)
According to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, the projects under the SEQ City Deal will improve a variety of areas within the South East Queensland community. From upgrading highway safety features, to building new public transport options, funding public art initiatives and modernising the way the state recycles, each project has been planned to bring more value, ease and enjoyment of South East Queenslanders (State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, 2022).
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the City Deal will be Brisbane City Council’s Woolloongabba Metro station, which will link with Cross River Rail and be a vital connection during the Olympics, with $450 million being allocated to the project (Hamid, 2022). The station will also connect to the Woolloongabba (the ‘Gabba’) stadium, which has been heralded as Brisbane’s main Olympic stadium.
An artist impression of the proposed Gabba redevelopment. Concept image by Populous.
Another significant beneficiary will the SEQ Liveability Fund (a fund dedicated to deliver projects of social and economic priority for the councils across the regions) which has been allocated $285 million.
Meanwhile, $150 million is being allocated to the SEQ Innovation Economy Fund to support capital projects that promote and grow the region’s innovation economy, $105 million for resource recovery infrastructure to develop a region-wide approach to managing waste and $70 million for digital connectivity projects to support place-based telecommunication infrastructure and improved digital connectivity (Hamid, 2022).
In regards to specific projects, the SEQ City Deal also outlines $190.2 million in funding which will go towards a new green bridge that will link Kangaroo Point to the CBD while the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council will co-fund a $1 million investigation into enhanced modal integration and transport connectivity to and through Southbank. Outside of the Brisbane City region, a motorsport and entertainment precinct will be delivered near Toowoomba, which The Queensland Government in partnership with the private sector is investing $95 million into and $45 million from the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Logan City Council to support the revitalisation of the Loganlea/Meadowbrook precinct through improved connectivity and mobility investments (Brisbane Development, 2022).
Ultimately, all the activity stemming from the SEQ City Deal is an exciting team for workers within Queensland’s built environment industry. As University of Queensland urban planning senior lecturer Dorina Pojani has said, the City Deal is overall a positive step – especially for those within urban planning and related infrastructure roles.
“It’s an exciting time to be a planner in south-east Queensland when there is all this money to be set aside for planning projects. I’m happy for our graduates who will have lots of work.” (Jones, 2022).
For those interested in finding out more – about the Queensland construction and engineering job market overall or the specific opportunities our Brisbane team currently have available, feel free to reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or view the opportunities here: https://www.designandbuild.com.au/jobs/brisbane
- - -
Cramsie, E. (2022). South East Queensland City Deal to see $1.8b put into transport, digital network and social projects. ABC News. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-21/qld-south-east-qld-city-deal-transport-digital-liveability/100925714
State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (2022). Making South East Queensland better, not just bigger: SEQ City. Queensland Government. Retrieved from: https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/news/people-projects-places/making-south-east-queensland-better-not-just-bigger-seq-city-deal#:~:text=The%20SEQ%20City%20Deal%20is%20a%20joint%20investment%20commitment%20between,the%20same%20goals%20in%20mind.
 Pavitt, M. (2022). Infrastructure investments pledged before Brisbane 2032 as South East Queensland City Deal signed. Inside The Games. Retrieved from: https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1120834/seq-city-deal-brisbane-2032-olympics
 Moore, T. (2022). Former Olympians join key committee building 2032 Brisbane Games. Brisbane Times. Retrieved from: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/former-olympians-join-key-committee-building-2032-brisbane-games-20220401-p5aa0k.html
 Hamid, T. (2022). SEQ City Deal to deliver $1.8 billion in infrastructure. Roads & Infrastructure. Retrieved from: https://roadsonline.com.au/seq-city-deal-to-deliver-1-8-billion-in-infrastructure/
 Brisbane Development. (2022). A Look into SEQ’s New $1.8bn ‘City Deal’. Brisbane Development. Retrieved from: https://brisbanedevelopment.com/full-analysis-of-seqs-new-1-8bn-city-deal/4/
 Jones, C. (2022). See what the South East Queensland City Deal will deliver to your region and how much will be spent. ABC News. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-22/qld-south-east-queensland-city-deal-plan-regions-projects/100926850