Construction of new 1500-seat theatre creating jobs and opportunities for Qld

Published Thursday, 12 August, 2021 at 12:38 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Queensland’s new state-of-the-art theatre is taking shape providing jobs and opportunities for apprentices in Brisbane.

The $175 million infrastructure project is one of many being delivered by the Palaszczuk Government under Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today inspected construction at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, as the new 1500-capacity theatre’s substructure and first floors start to take shape.

“When this theatre opens to audiences in 2023, it will make QPAC the largest performing arts centre in Australia, with five venues and the potential to welcome an additional 300,000 visitors per year,” the Premier said.

“In the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games, we’re delivering the infrastructure we need to put Queensland on a global stage.

“Thanks to the way Queenslanders have responded to the pandemic, our economy is building back stronger and faster than other states.

“Projects like this mean jobs for local workers and millions of dollars’ worth of flow-on benefits for local companies.

“Already, more than 500 workers have been inducted at this site. Together they’ve worked more than 68,000 hours on the project.”

More than $73 million in contracts have been awarded to local industries, utilising local consultancies, sub-contractors and Queensland products to build the new theatre wherever possible.

Lendlease has completed external demolition and bulk excavation works and successfully installed the two cranes on site.

Each are capable of lifting 12 tonnes and will support the next phase of delivery and install the large trusses for the Auditorium roof.

Other major construction activities include large concrete pours to lay the building’s foundations and connect the new facility with the existing QPAC building.

The site team has also completed the basement and studio slabs. Additional pours are continuing to finalise the construction of the orchestra pit and studio walls. 

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the arts were key to Queensland’s economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 Queensland jobs.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in this project will help support our local arts sector, showcase Queensland’s unique stories and drive cultural tourism and economic return for the state,” Minister Enoch said.

“This is a vital project for Queensland which provides much-needed employment for local workers and will generate ongoing employment opportunities for the arts sector when it opens.”

Lendlease Building Queensland general manager Brad Protheroe said when complete the new venue would set a benchmark for construction innovation in Queensland.

“Leveraging both Lendlease’s vast experience in advanced construction techniques and the incredible expertise of the local South East Queensland industry, the team is working to deliver this game changing project for the state,” said Mr Protheroe.

“One such technique will be the use of the tower cranes onsite to lift the purpose built curved glass façade panels into place, some of which will be the size equivalent to length and width of a 16-seater shuttlebus.

“To date, 100 per cent of the workers inducted to site have been Queensland locals which is important for the local economy and the local construction industry, both now and into the future as we train the next generation of Queensland builders.”

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the progress onsite heralded great progress for the arts industry in cementing its place as an integral part of the community. 

“As much as this new theatre will be a remarkable architectural addition to Brisbane, of even more importance is what it represents to the community in which it sits and its reach beyond,” Mr Kotzas said. 

“We’ve seen, particularly over the last year, how much the arts contributes to individual and collective wellbeing, how it helps tell stories to heal and educate, how it brings us together. 

“The addition of this new performing arts venue will allow us to deliver more arts experiences to more people in-theatre and to also extend our reach and engagement to those regionally, nationally and even internationally who may not be able to visit us in person.  

“As we take these significant steps in building the theatre, exciting steps like construction of the orchestra pit, it’s gratifying to see decades of planning start to come to fruition.” 

The Department of Energy and Public Works’ Major Projects team is managing the delivery of the theatre, on behalf of QPAC and Arts Queensland, and is managing the contract with Lendlease.

For more information on the project visit:


Media contact:
Jack Harbour (Premier’s office) 0419 620 447
Debbie Turner  (Arts Minister’s office) 0437 859 987