‘The Gabba revamp cost could be whopping’


Costs for The Gabba higher than expected Image: Queensland Government

The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has flagged the cost of redeveloping The Gabba Stadium in Woolloongabba, Australia, for the 2032 Games and has said that it could increase beyond the proposed $1 billion price tag.

‘ABC News’ stated that it comes after Premier Palaszczuk said she was comfortable with plans for both The Gabba and Brisbane Live (proposed multipurpose entertainment and sporting arena) after concerns were raised recently as regards additional construction was needed to allow the venues to be built for the 2032 Olympics.

The 42,000-capacity Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as The Gabba, is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. The nickname Gabba derives from the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad and also known as Brisbane 2032, will be an international multisport event scheduled to take place from July 23rd to August 8th, 2032, in Brisbane, Australia.

The 17,000+-capacity Brisbane Live is a proposed multipurpose entertainment and sporting arena to be located above Roma Street Railway Station in the Central Business District of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

‘ABC News’ further stated that speaking at a presser recently, Palaszczuk said there would be a business case for The Gabba redevelopment, with the Government “working through all those issues at the moment”.

When asked how the Government had determined the redevelopment would cost $1 billion, Palaszczuk said it was based on cost estimates at the time – “Of course, now we understand that there’s been a lot of increase in … shortages of supply and materials, they’re worldwide issues.”

When the Premier was asked if she anticipated the redevelopment would cost more than $1 billion, she said they do not have the final costs yet – “But, of course, we’ll absolutely reveal those to the public.”

Speculation about the size of The Gabba redevelopment has increased in recent weeks with concerns the planned upgrades will impact the local road network including the Vulture and Stanley Streets, key thoroughfares through Woolloongabba.

Recently, it was reported a proposal to tunnel under the streets had been put forward but that would significantly increase the $1 billion cost of The Gabba redevelopment.

Meanwhile, the question of the East Brisbane State School’s future remains unanswered. The heritage school tucked under the shadow of The Gabba Stadium will have to be relocated to make way for the stadium expansion.

At parliamentary estimates hearings held recently, ministers were grilled on plans for the school’s future.

Education Minister Grace Grace admitted there are still no concrete plans for the school, as The Gabba redevelopment is in such early stages of planning – “We do not know the footprint. We do not know the design. We have a schematic sketch. We are still stabbing in the dark. It is still 10 years away, but I recognize that the stadium probably needs to build for the future.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles told he estimates that the Education Department “Has been undertaking long-term planning for the East Brisbane State School and the surrounding primary school network.”

The Gabba redevelopment proposal also involves a 50-50 spending split with the Commonwealth and Queensland Government.

Added Palaszczuk, “We’ve got an infrastructure spend from Commonwealth and State but let me say very clearly that what we signed up to with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – we will be delivering.”

The Australian Government was still considering the Queensland Government’s proposed package for transport and infrastructure projects to support the Games.

Palaszczuk said the Commonwealth and State Governments had “Agreed with the infrastructure spend. A lot of our infrastructure spending, over $50 billion over four years, is actually already factored in when you’re talking about transport, Cross River Rail, road upgrades.”

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