‘Market sounding’ to begin for new arena in Brisbane


Brisbane Live arena to be “put to market” to gauge the interest and concepts of private sector investors Image: Queensland Government

A decision on which a lot of foot-dragging was done has finally been taken – the 18,000-seat entertainment precinct above Roma Street rail yards in Brisbane, Australia, will finally come up.

Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the Brisbane Live arena would be “put to market” to gauge the interest and concepts of private sector investors.

Public consultation would begin soon on the Precincts Delivery Strategy to bring a sea change to the city through theA$5.4bn (£2.8bn/€3.3bn/$3.7bn) Cross River Rail project.

The arena would form part of a potential bid for Brisbane to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2032.

Roma Street is one of the seven sites that were investigated as a potential location through the detailed business case development. Queensland currently has a 13,500-seat arena in the shape of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, which opened in 1986.

Though the arena conceptualization began way back in 2007, but the idea to build it got rolling when it became part of the Cross River Rail project after years of negotiations between AEG Ogden and the Government.

Palaszczuk said Brisbane Live would generate 450 jobs each year during the construction phase, with 1,000 jobs in the peak year, and 600 ongoing jobs once the venue becomes operational.

“We know that by unlocking underutilized land in the heart of the city like Roma Street, we can leverage significant private sector investment and create jobs,” she asserted.

“Everyone wants to see a new, world-class arena in the heart of Brisbane, and through this strategy, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will now launch market sounding to attract the best concepts from the private sector. Roma Street is one of seven sites that were investigated as a potential location through the detailed business case development,” the Premier informed.

A pessimistic LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander remarked it was a “hollow promise”, claiming the project would never get off the ground under the Palaszczuk Government.

“We’re totally supportive of the concept. We supported it in the last election but we have no confidence in this Labor Government to be delivering it,” he further averred.

“This is the fourth promise they’ve made in the last three years about Brisbane Live and that’s all they do,” Mander fumed.

When asked how an LNP Government would be different, Mander did not reply on how much public funding would be infused if his party was brought to power.

Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones said the precincts strategy would provide development opportunities at five stations: Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and Exhibition in the RNA Showgrounds.

“The Precincts Delivery Strategy we’re announcing will see up to 22 hectares of prime real estate in the heart of Brisbane revitalized,” she commented.

“Expert analysis shows the Cross River Rail precincts could help generate up to $20 billion worth of new economic development and about 35,000 new jobs,” Kate stated.

Brisbane Live, a new world-class arena, is a great example of the new assets Brisbane could gain through this precincts strategy,” she further stated.

The strategy includes different themes for each of the five precincts: The area’s urban renewal will get a shot in the arm due to the exhibition station, creating a connected health, housing and recreation hub; Roma Street station will become the western gateway to the city’s premier cultural and entertainment offerings; Albert Street Station will act as a catalyst to transform the city’s heart; the Woolloongabba station precinct will become abuzz with life and a vibrant center for community, sports, and health; and the area around Boggo Road Station will become a world-class innovation precinct, offering expertise in research, health, science and education jobs of the future.

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