Critical to the success of any city and region’s growth is transport. The ability to seamlessly and efficiently move people and goods is critical to a region’s long-term economic growth and the liveability that residents demand.
South-East Queensland is currently experiencing significant investment in transport connectivity and creates an opportunity for us to rethink development and to begin a conversation about how we define the future of the region that we call home.
We caught up with our friends at Wolter Consulting and put together a list of the projects that will define transport in South-East Queensland that must be factored into state and local authority planning regulations in order for the opportunity that improved connections will bring to be realised.
- M1 Upgrade – Coomera Connector – Designed to bust congestion that blights the lives of commuters on a daily basis, the Coomera Connector will be an alternative to the M1, providing more transport capacity to support the rapidly growing residential and business communities in the northern Gold Coast and neighbouring Logan areas.
- Inland Rail – Inland rail is a dedicated freight line that will connect Melbourne to Brisbane enabling goods to be moved from end to end in 24 hours. Supporting regional economies along the line, Inland Rail has the potential to be a major driver of industrial and logistics development across South-East Queensland.
- The 45 Minute Region – Proposed by the SEQ Council of Mayors and driven by an SEQ Fastrail Network, the potential project will see the region, incorporating Brisbane, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast connected by a 160Km/h rail network enabling 45-minute commutes between the capital and its SEQ regional centres.
- Cross River Rail – Connecting Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, Cross River Rail will revolutionise rail connectivity in inner Brisbane. With new underground stations at Roma Street, Albert Street, Wooloongabba and Boggo Road, and upgraded stations at Salisbury, Rocklea, Moorooka, Yeerongpilly, Yeronga, Fairfield, Dutton Park, and Exhibition, Cross River Rail will create a 10KM transport corridor traversing the heart of the city.
- Brisbane Metro – Brisbane Metro will provide high speed and frequent bus services connecting Brisbane CBD with the suburbs. Operating on dedicated bus lanes from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street, and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to the University of Queensland, Metro will operate as turn up and go services, incorporating 24 hours a day services on weekends.
- Gold Coast Light Rail – Stage 3 – Building on the successful delivery of the existing world-class light rail service, Stage 3 comprises a 6.7km extension south of the existing tram network, linking Helensvale to Burleigh Heads and providing eight additional stations.
- Bruce Highway Upgrades
- Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Duplication – Covering 40km of track, the duplication will stretch from Beerburrum to Landsborough, creating additional line capacity and new commuter options between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Scott Clements outlined his excitement for the projects, “It is an exciting time to be in South-East Queensland with the emergence of major projects that will support the region’s growth, creating an integrated transport network that covers the whole region.”
“However it is vital that we look at how we can best maximise this investment to ensure that we have supporting infrastructure and housing to realise the opportunity because at present I do not see planning regulations and public opinion as supportive of what industry needs.”
“We need to start planning for that now. We need regulations and codes to be adapted to ensure the reality can be planned today, not in several years when the project is completed.”
Wolter’s Natalie Rayment agrees, “It is vital that we start conversations with government, residents and businesses today. Suppose as a society we invest over $5bn onto a project like Cross River Rail without supporting the industry’s ability to create positive developments? In that case, we run the risk of having one of the world’s most expensive white elephants.”
“We applaud every tier of government for their foresight in planning the region’s vital future infrastructure. We now call on them to take that visionary approach to the regional and suburb plans so that industry can begin the works of supporting their investment and creating world-class residential, commercial and industrial environments that a modern global city needs.”