Design & Development

Queensland launches review of Brisbane 2032 infrastructure

Featured image credit: Queensland Government

Featured image credit: Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has today (Thursday) launched a 60-day review into the venue infrastructure plan for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane, with the planned redevelopment of The Gabba one of the projects set to be assessed.

Steven Miles pledged a review of the projects last month after assuming the role of Queensland Premier from Annastacia Palaszczuk. The latter’s Government had previously rejected calls for a review of plans to redevelop The Gabba.

It has now been announced that former Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will lead the independent review of Brisbane 2032 infrastructure. The review will focus on both new and upgraded venues to ensure they deliver value for money and community benefits across the state.

Ken Kanofski and Michelle Morris have also been appointed to conduct and deliver an independent report to the government within 60 days. Kanofski has 20 years of experience as a chief executive in the New South Wales Government, while Morris is a principal and director of MI Global Partners, which has worked with several Olympic Games organising committees.

The review will include targeted consultation and relevant advice from a range of stakeholders. As well as The Gabba, the review will include the proposed Brisbane Live arena development, funding for which will be provided by the Federal Government.

It has been proposed that the Gabba will undergo A$2.7bn (£1.4bn/€1.6bn/$1.8bn) worth of redevelopment ahead of the Games, with the venue to be fully demolished and rebuilt. The Gabba’s design process is due to occur this year, and deconstruction is set to commence in 2025 with a view to the new-look venue opening in 2030.

The proposed redevelopment of the RNA Showgrounds’ Main Arena will also be reviewed. Under plans announced by the Queensland Government prior to Miles’ appointment, the venue would serve as a temporary home for the AFL’s Brisbane Lions and Queensland Cricket during the five years that The Gabba is unavailable.

The International Olympic Committee approved Brisbane as the home of the 2032 Games in July 2021. At the time, redeveloping The Gabba was expected to cost A$1bn, but this figure rose to A$2.7bn as the Australian and Queensland Governments last February unveiled a A$7bn funding agreement to overhaul the state’s sporting infrastructure ahead of the Games.

The Gabba project has proven contentious, with heavy criticism from local community and political groups, chiefly focused on the need to demolish and relocate the nearby East Brisbane State School.

The findings of the review will be provided on March 18. The Miles Government will also establish a delivery authority for Brisbane 2032, which will be operational towards the middle of this year.

“We want to deliver a Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games that brings Queenslanders together and creates legacy benefits for decades to come,” said Miles.

“The Games are a chance for us to unite, but it has become divisive. I’m determined to end the division and bring people together, which is why I’ve committed to this 60-day review and establishing a delivery authority. The mission is simple, make sure the Games work for Queensland and deliver for Queenslanders.”

Grace Grace, Queensland’s Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, added: “In the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Games over the next decade, we’re going to see infrastructure investment on a vast scale throughout Queensland.

“This will deliver more economic activity, more jobs and legacy infrastructure that will benefit Queenslanders in coming decades. We need to make sure we get these infrastructure investments right and I look forward to receiving the report from these three eminent individuals. We’ve already said we’re not going to pre-empt the outcomes of this review, which I know will be carried out without fear or favour.”