It’s going to cost $63.7 billion to keep South East Queensland moving over the next two decades, according to a study released today by the region’s mayors.
The population of the region is expected to grow by about 1.8 million people to more than five million people by 2041, putting extraordinary demand on the already strained transport network.
The SEQ People Mass Movement Study lists a total of 47 projects designed to keep city-to-city trips under 45 minutes and urban commutes under 30 minutes, including a faster rail network connecting the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast via Brisbane and west to Ipswich and Toowoomba.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the infrastructure plan, coined the Strategic Transport Road Map, would keep the region “economically productive” while maintaining its liveability.
“Business as normal is not going to work, we need to increase the amount of money that is being spent in South East Queensland,” Cr Quirk said.
He said the plan would require an average expenditure of about $2.7 billion per year until 2041, which he said was “not an unrealistic figure”.
“What we are seeing in Sydney and Melbourne right now is this massive spend on infrastructure. That’s because they allowed it to get too far behind. We cannot do that in South East Queensland.”
He said there had been no shortage of plans for the region’s transport network, but it was time for all levels of government to unite with a shared vision.
Redland City mayor Karen Williams said the plan delivered the projects over a “reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of investment”.
“It’s not a matter of ‘can we afford this?’ It’s the fact that we can’t afford not to do it,” Cr Williams said.
Faster Rail is not as fast as high speed rail, which delivers speeds up to 350km/h, but could run at about 160km/h with top speeds of up to 200-250kmh, with limited stops.
It would be connected to the light rail networks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in order to ease congestion on major arterials.
Other projects include the Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and road upgrades, including the Pacific, Sunshine, Centenary, Ipswich and Logan motorways and the Bruce, Warrego and Mt Lindesay highways.
The study also took into account emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles.
It was first proposed in 2016, and began in September 2017, with the aim of bringing together multiple local, state and national transport studies into one cohesive plan.
The South East Queensland region takes in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley Regional, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional, Somerset Regional, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Regional council areas.
Brisbane Cruise Terminal Set to Welcome One Million Passengers
Brisbane’s first cruise ship terminal is under way, with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turning the sod on the $158 million project on Tuesday.
The long-awaited terminal is scheduled to open in October 2020, with bookings already open for Brisbane’s first cruise season.
Publicised as a significant economic boost for Queensland’s tourism industry, the premier said that the terminal will eventually host more than a million passengers each year.
“Building this one piece of infrastructure flows through our entire economy.
“Ships that were too long, too high and too deep to dock at Brisbane’s Hamilton facility will have a dedicated cruise terminal.”
Deloitte’s latest business outlook shows strong population growth numbers bolstering Queensland’s economy as “crazy” house prices send buyers north. Tourism numbers are also looking positive, with an expected economic upswing coming from tourism and mining.
“The renewed (albeit modest) falls in the Australian dollar over the past year augur well for renewed strength in tourism numbers ahead,” Deloitte partner Chris Richardson said.
“That will be accommodated by the recent increased and ongoing investment in hotel capacity in some of the tourism hubs of the state.”
Tourism minister Kate Jones said that Queensland’s cruise industry was booming.
“Last financial year we saw 520 ships port in Queensland — 11 per cent growth year-on-year, making the Sunshine State Australia’s undisputed cruise capital.”
The terminal is expected to handle over 1,100 vessels and at 1.8 million passengers within its first five years.
The global cruise ship industry is growing, with at least 60 per cent of the cruise ships calling in to Australia by 2020 estimated to be “mega” cruise ships — with a gross tonnage larger than 120,000.
The Queensland government has confirmed that construction company Hindmarsh will deliver the $158 million building.
The Star to Announce Contractor for Brisbane Casino Resort Within Weeks
Excavation work at the site of the Queen’s Wharf resort nears completion, the actual construction phase is slated to begin in late 2019
The winning bidder for the construction of the A$3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf luxury integrated resort in Brisbane will be announced within weeks, news outlet the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Geoff Hogg, Managing Director Queensland for Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group, said today that “somewhere in the next four to six weeks” they will announce the successful tender that “will start building the main core and shell of the Queen’s Wharf development.”
The Star is the leading partner in Destination Brisbane Consortium that was selected back in 2016 as the winning bidder for the development and operation of an integrated resort in Brisbane’s Central Business District. The company won the race over its biggest archrival Crown Resorts.
Mr. Hogg went on to explain that the soon-to-be-announced winning tender will be tasked with the “core concrete and […] shell” of the resort. Tenders for internal fit-outs will follow at a later stage. Announcing the winning tender for the primary construction work will mark an important milestone and the shift from excavation toward the start of construction, Mr. Hogg said today.
Excavation work began early in 2017. Mr. Hogg explained today that phase is now almost complete. Workers have so far demolished a number of government-owned buildings to prepare the site for setting the foundations.
Mr. Hogg explained that they expect to reach an important milestone in mid-2019 when all 450,000 cubic meters of soil and rock would be taken out and the hole in the ground would be finished. Foundation work is slated to begin shortly afterwards. Actual construction work is likely to commence by Christmas.
They expect to be ready to begin ground level work by mid-2020. The luxury resort will feature a massive underground car park.
The Star targets 2022 opening of a major part of its property. The launch will include three hotels, one operating under The Star brand, as well as Dorsett-branded and Rosewood-branded hotels, food and beverage facilities, public spaces at the flagship Sky Deck, The Landing, and Waterline, and retail spaces.
The gaming and hospitality giant currently runs Brisbane’s Treasury Casino. That facility will be closed when the main resort is finished and The Star will relocate its license to a larger casino at its the Queen’s Wharf resort. As for its old gaming operation, it will be transformed into a retail center.
Consortium Announced for $5.4bn Cross River Rail
Days after being snubbed for federal funding in this year’s budget, the contractors responsible for building the state government’s pet Cross River Rail project have been announced.
Deputy premier Jackie Trad confirmed that the Cimic-led Pulse consortium will deliver the tunnelling works and the development of four new underground stations.
The ASX-listed Cimic, which is currently building the $4.3 billion Westconnex tunnel project, is joined by Cimic Group-owned brands Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and UGL as part of the consortium.
The Spanish-controlled construction giant has also won the contract to deliver the Cross River Rail’s rail, integration and systems package as part of the Alliance partnership. Hitachi Rail will deliver the European Train Control System.
The shortlist to build Queensland’s largest infrastructure project was announced in February 2018.
Tunnelling could begin as early as next year, while contractors are expected to establish a site presence from late 2019.
Queensland will fully fund the $5.4 billion infrastructure project.
Minister for transport and main roads Mark Bailey said that federal funding for Queensland infrastructure had “gone backwards” under successive Coalition governments.
“They’ve given us a dud deal, other states have done a lot better. We’ve got nothing for Cross River Rail, M1 we only get 50 per cent.”
“Eighty per cent for NSW M1, 50 per cent for Queensland’s M1.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Cross River Rail would generate 7,700 jobs including 450 apprenticeships.
“As a result of this historic investment, hundreds of new job opportunities will be delivered, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on a project that will fundamentally change our region.”
Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised $2.24 billion in funding for the Cross River Rail should Labor win the election.
The Cross River Rail is expected to be up and running by 2024.
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