South-east Queensland will need to cater for an extra 1.4 million people within 15 years, Australia’s infrastructure planning body says.
A major report by Infrastructure Australia shows Queensland’s population will grow to 6.4 million and south-east Queensland’s population will grow by 1.4 million in 15 years.
Infrastructure Australia is an independent body that advises governments on nationally significant projects and recommends which should receive federal funding.
The report highlights the need for major investments in infrastructure in Queensland and lists which projects should be given priority. The list includes:
High priority projects – must start within five years
- Ipswich Motorway – Rocklea to Darra section.
- Pacific Motorway M1 – Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes.
- Cross River Rail – extra rail line across the Brisbane River because existing rail bridge gets congested from 2016.
- Freight rail access to the Port of Brisbane.
Priority projects – must start within 10 years
- Gold Coast light rail stage two.
- Gateway Motorway/Pacific Motorway merge upgrade project.
- Bruce Highway progressive highway upgrades.
- Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade – widening the single rail section.
- Gladstone Port land access improvements.
- Mt Isa to Townsville new rail line.
- Lower Fitzroy River water infrastructure – raising the Eden Bann Weir on the Fitzroy River.
- Upgrading 4.7 km of the Cunningham Highway from Yamanto to Ebenezer west of Ipswich.
The report said that if no key infrastructure projects were built in the south-east, the cost of waiting in traffic for commuters, small, medium and large businesses will escalate from $1.9 billion in 2011 to $9.2 billion by 2031.
Over the period from 2011 to 2031, Australia’s population is projected to increase by 8.2 million people. The bulk of this growth will occur in cities, which are forecast to grow by almost seven million people by 2031. Almost-three quarters of our population growth will be in the four largest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
“Population growth on this scale will transform our cities. It will create new opportunities to enhance our economic prosperity and increase the vibrancy and diversity of our communities,” the report said.
“But we must act now to ensure these opportunities are realised and the challenges posed by such growth are well-managed. Our four largest cities are set to undergo a higher density urban transformation. We must ensure this process is positive.
“Our aim for these cities should be to deliver high-quality, higher density living, connected by worldclass infrastructure services, to maintain liveability, improve affordability and capitalise on opportunities for increased economic growth.
The report supports “higher” density – seven to eight storeys – along transport routes, not high density at all costs and notes it is cheaper to bring water, transport and electricity to inner-city units ($26,500 per unit) than to a outer-Brisbane block ($69,000).
Other key findings of the report include:
- Almost three-quarters of Australia’s population growth is projected to be in the four largest capitals (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth), placing pressure on urban infrastructure already subject to high levels of demand.
- Steps should be taken to foster greater long-term growth in Australia’s smaller capital cities, increasing their vitality while moderating the infrastructure challenges facing the larger cities.
- Amalgamation of local government is required to enable local councils to achieve the necessary scale and financial capacity to meet their local infrastructure needs.
- Australia needs integrated infrastructure and land use planning, across all levels of government. Improvements in planning are necessary if Australians’ infrastructure and economic aspirations are to be realised.
Original Publish: http://www.theurbandeveloper.com/
Council commits to new Coast convention centre
MONEY from the sale of Sunshine Coast Council land will be reserved to help bring a convention and exhibition centre to the new Maroochydore CBD.
A new facility is expected to cost about $200 million and the council commitment is intended to encourage state and federal contributions.
The commitment was made in a confidential session of the most recent council meeting after a motion moved by Cr Jason O’Pray was successful with seven votes for and three against.
Mayor Mark Jamieson, Cr Tim Dwyer and Cr Peter Cox opposed the motion.
Cr O’Pray could not release details of the yet-to-be-sold property or how much money would be raised but said he thought making the financial commitment, on top of providing the land, was a positive step in achieving a suitable facility.
He said he took advice from council officers in making the plan.
“I had tossed and turned about this for quite some time when I knew we were selling land in Maroochydore,” Cr O’Pray said.
“My main reasoning for quarantining this money was because I’m absolutely certain we will need state and federal backing on this.
“It is really important to me to see the CBD has its own convention centre.”
He said securing a private backer would be “even better” than relying on government funding for the project.
“Council can clearly not afford that (cost) on its own.”
Cr Jamieson was contacted for comment but declined to publicly detail his reasons for opposing the motion, with a council spokesman saying the mayor did not disclose matters discussed in confidential session.
The spokesman said the council would contribute to a convention and exhibition facility by providing the land on which it was developed and in all likelihood, having to cover the ongoing annual maintenance and other costs.
“The ratepayers of many other regions across Queensland have not been required to contribute towards the cost of developing their convention and exhibition centres,” the spokesman said.
“The cost to construct such facilities in many of these locations has been borne by the State Government.”
He said a new functional brief and specifications for a new convention and exhibition centre had been completed.
Consulting firm PG International was engaged by the council in March last year to complete the work.
“The functional brief and specifications will inform the development of a business case and preliminary design, which will be done if and when, funding becomes available.”
A Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman said the department didn’t currently have any funding allocated for a convention and exhibition centre on the Coast.
However, he said the minister for the department and the former director-general wrote to all local governments on March 12 inviting submissions for the Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program.
He said the grant program was available to all local governments through a competitive process to undertake strategic planning for infrastructure and develop business cases and detailed design.
Submissions close on April 9.
“Sunshine Coast Council could make a submission for potential assistance in developing its business case for this project,” the spokesman said.
Fast rail a boon for future generations
Sunshine Coast Business Council chairwoman Sandy Zubrinich said the North Coast Connect project, which looks to draw on rail duplication and the CAMCOS corridor, would cater to the bulk of current and future Coast populations.
She said about 65 per cent of the current population of about 170,000 people lived within proximity of the CAMCOS corridor and 85 per cent of the future Coast popualtion growth is to the region’s south, in proximity to the rail corridor.
“Locals will benefit significantly from the increased connectivity,” she said.
The North Coast Connect project has received Federal Government backing by way of a share in $20 million for a business case to be developed.
It was one of just three projects nationally to secure the funding and the Palaszczuk Government has also committed $5 million towards the business case.
Supported by Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa councils, the project is seen by Ms Zubrinich as one perfect for bi-partisan collaboration.
“It is certainly a project that the three tiers of government and the community can get behind and support,” she said.
The business case will be delivered by a consortium of KPMG, Urbis, Stockland and Smec and is expected to take 12-18 months to put together.
The vision is to slash travel times from the Coast to Brisbane down to 45 minutes.
Originally Published: www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
Sunshine Coast Gets $225m Airport Runway in Tourism Boost
Construction and engineering group John Holland has been awarded the $225 million contract to deliver a new and enlarged runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport. The runway is due for completion by Christmas 2020.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Jamieson said that with increased air capacity will come the demand for new hotel accommodation as well as the refurbishment of existing stock.
“The new runway will accommodate larger, more fuel-efficient aircraft and open up direct access for the Sunshine Coast to more Australian cities, international markets in Asia and the Western Pacific and in turn, drive significant economic growth.”
The new runway is part of the Airport Expansion Project, and when complete is expected to contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast’s economy over the period to 2040 – generating around 2,230 jobs and boosting tourism as well as providing new direct access to the region and access new markets for food and agribusiness sectors.
The expansion is part of a $372 million privatisation deal with Palisade Investment Partners. Palisade took control of Sunshine Coast Airport last year under a 99-year lease with Sunshine Coast Council.
The long-term lease sees Palisade responsible for operating, investing in, and developing the airport, as well as overseeing future expansion of both domestic and international routes available to and from the Sunshine Coast.
Current estimates for the whole project sit at $303 million, including design, environmental offsets and works undertaken to date.
The Australian Government and the Queensland Treasury Corporation have helped to bankroll the expansion project, providing around $181 million in concessional loans which will be repaid from the proceeds that council receives from its commercial partner, Palisade Investment Partners, in 2022.
John Holland Group will take possession of the project site over the next couple of weeks to start preparing the site for the dredging works to commence mid-year.
The project is on track for completion by Christmas 2020.
Originally Published: theurbandeveloper.com
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