Gabba redevelopment to deliver affordable housing

Published Friday, 17 February, 2023 at 12:10 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

Gabba redevelopment to deliver affordable housing

  • The rebuilt Gabba stadium will anchor a major urban renewal project, delivering thousands of new homes, including social and affordable housing
  • The revitalisation of Woolloongabba will include an active travel corridor to South Bank and the CBD
  • The Gabba Stadium will be fully demolished and rebuilt to support long-term professional sport and entertainment needs and is confirmed as the home of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Game
  • The new 50,000 seat stadium is estimated to cost $2.7 billion

The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled it’s plans for a major revitalisation of Woolloongabba and The Gabba Stadium including an active travel corridor to South Bank and the CBD. 

The Gabba Stadium will be fully demolished and rebuilt and will anchor major urban renewal including delivering more housing including social and affordable housing.

The current Woolloongabba Priority Development Area will be expanded to encompass more of Woolloongabba and the Stanley Street precinct to South Bank. 

Along with connecting Cross River Rail and the Brisbane Metro, it will deliver a walkable connection to South Bank and Brisbane CBD via Brisbane City Council’s new green bridge.

The $2.7 billion Gabba Stadium redevelopment will see the Stadium fully demolished and rebuilt, with improved disability access and better transport connection. 

Given the complexity of building on a constrained site, completely rebuilding the Gabba is cheaper than trying to bring it to a truly accessible, modern standard. 

The new Gabba will include a pedestrian walkway linking the stadium to the new Cross River Rail station and future Metro station, via a bridge over Main Street, providing greater accessibility for those with all levels of mobility, making it one of the most accessible stadiums in the country. 

The current Stadium is nearing the end of its life and the redevelopment will support the long-term professional sport, community and entertainment needs of the city before and after 2032.

East Brisbane State School will not be able to continue at its current location beyond December 2025. Community consultation on several options will now begin, including relocating the school to new facilities at a nearby site. 

The announcement follows the funding agreement between the Australian and Queensland Governments that sees a $7 billion-plus infrastructure program and the cost of delivering the Brisbane 2032 Master Plan shared. 

Quotes attributable to the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk: 

“We know hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the infrastructure and housing we need to support a growing Queensland.
“The Gabba has hosted sport for more than a century and is home to cricket and AFL most weeks of the year. 

“But it’s no secret that Queensland is losing out on major sporting events already - and the tourism, jobs and investment that come with them because The Gabba is not up to scratch.

“It must be upgraded to maintain our competitiveness for international sport and events. 

“When it’s done, this stadium will shine for Queensland, and so will the area surrounding it.

“Woolloongabba has the potential to be the next bustling precinct, but that can’t happen without a coordinated approach.

“It’s important we further capitalise on major transport projects already under way like Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles: 

“The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will change Brisbane the way Expo 88 did. It’s fitting that we will extend the much-loved South Bank precinct to the Gabba and back to the City via the Gardens.

“Expanding the existing PDA will see a more integrated and coordinated planning approach for the whole suburb.

“The Gabba will be more than just an events stadium. We want it to be activated 24/7 so that living near it will be exciting and fun.

“It will be the main interchange between Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro. You’ll be able to get around without a car and walk or scooter to the City or South Bank.

“The redevelopment will anchor major urban renewal and deliver more affordable housing, dining and retail. 

“The current Gabba is an international icon, but a tired one. 

“In some circumstances people in wheelchairs can only access their allocated seats using the goods lift. 

“There are no women’s change rooms. Elite women athletes have less space to prepare for games and are stuck using change rooms that include urinals because they were built only for male athletes. 

“It’s unacceptable. Queensland athletes and fans deserve a modern, accessible, safe, fit-for-purpose major stadium that will attract and host world-class national and international sporting and entertainment events.

“And Queenslanders deserve a Games legacy that will serve them for decades to come.” 

Quotes attributable to Education Minister Grace Grace: 

“I always said we would carry out consultation with the school community as soon as we knew more about the impact of the Gabba redevelopment on the school.

“The plans announced today make it clear that the school cannot remain at its current location beyond December 2025, so that consultation will now begin.

“Options include relocating the school to new facilities at the underutilised 11-hectare Coorparoo Secondary College site, which is a short distance away. 

“This is in contrast with the current 1.5-hectare EBSS site which is very constrained, bordered by three major roads, has limited access to green space, and no capacity to expand. 

“In addition to the three meetings I’ve already had with the P&C previously, I met with the principal and senior leadership team today and I’m organising to meet with the school again next week.

“I am absolutely committed to ensuring every single member of the school community gets to have their say about the future of East Brisbane State School.”

Media contacts: Premier’s office - Shane Doherty 0439 624 473 | Deputy Premier’s office - Amy Hunter 0423 651 484 | Minister Grace’s office - Kate Talbot 0439 803 211

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Additional Facts: 

The Gabba redevelopment

  • Four options were considered which included variations of full demolition and rebuild, refurbishment of the existing stadium, and partial demolition and refurbishment.
  • Given the complexity of building on a constrained site, completely rebuilding the Gabba is cheaper than trying to bring it to a truly accessible, modern standard
  • This option provides the best value for money. It also achieves the Government’s aims including being a catalyst for neighbourhood renewal and investment, ability to attract and host world-class events, enabling operational optimisation to support economic resilience, and importantly, enhancing user experience. 
  • This option also makes The Gabba fully compliant with the requirements of hosting Brisbane 2032 events.
  • The Gabba redevelopment will mean better spectator viewing, more seats, deliver better accessibility, improved and future-proofed digital connectivity, sport and spectator facilities for all genders, purpose-designed access to new transport infrastructure, and increased comfort for spectators and athletes, including more roof coverage to protect sports fans from the elements. 
  • The redevelopment includes: 
    • Changeroom facilities for female athletes
    • Larger entry concourses for general admission
    • Lifts and escalators
    • Range of dining options and member spaces, including kitchens and food and beverage outlets and a general store
    • Merchandise stores
    • Media facilities
    • Team facilities with direct access to pitches and practice wickets
    • Construction contingency
    • Targeted 6-star green star rating
  • The heritage buildings within the East Brisbane State School will be refurbished and repurposed and integrated into the operations of the Gabba Stadium.
  • With the preferred redevelopment option confirmed, the Queensland Government will continue with finalising the Project Validation Report.
  • A competitive tender process with the market is expected to commence in the second half of 2023 at which point a final design process for the Gabba will get underway.
  • Construction is likely to take four years from 2026 and be ready for use by 2030.

Woolloongabba PDA 

  • The current Woolloongabba Cross River Rail Priority Development Area (PDA) will be expanded to encompass more of Woolloongabba and the Stanley Street precinct to South Bank,
  • A PDA is a proven planning pathway for resolving complex planning and development matters that unlock value for the surrounding communities.
  • Importantly, the process will involve community consultation in preparation of a development scheme for the expanded PDA.
  • There is a process to be followed under the Economic Development Act which the department has commenced, including the preparation of an interim land use plan and revised PDA boundary.

East Brisbane State School

  • Online submissions are now open here and the dates of community meetings will be announced shortly.
  • The Department of Education will be consulting on three options: 
    • Relocating EBSS to new facilities at the Coorparoo Secondary College site
    • Merging EBSS with Coorparoo Secondary College to become a P-12 school
    • Students at EBSS to enrol at other local schools, with additional infrastructure built at those schools if needed
  • Initial consultation will be open until the end of Term 1 (March 31) and there will be further consultation throughout as the project progresses.