The infrastructure projects transforming Brisbane

28 MARCH 2023

With a rapidly growing population, a strong uptick in visitors and a number of city-shaping infrastructure projects in the pipeline, Brisbane is alive with opportunities for investors.

The only Australian city to have made Time Magazine’s recent list of the 50 most extraordinary destinations to explore, Brisbane has captured the world’s attention. 

This is reflected in the National Visitor Survey Results for the year ending June 2022, which saw Brisbane record a 3.8% increase in visitors, and the highest level of visitor expenditure since the start of the pandemic – up 26.5% to $4.1 billion. This creates opportunities to invest in new attractions for visitors to Brisbane to see, do and experience.

The increase in visitors coincides with an unprecedented wave of interstate migration, with the Greater Brisbane population expected to grow by 43% by 2041. 

But it’s not just Brisbane’s incredible climate, lifestyle and liveability that’s got the world buzzing. What’s really capturing imaginations is a pipeline of more than $25 billion worth of infrastructure projects that are rapidly changing the face of the city. 

Bringing together public and private sector expertise in successful partnerships, these infrastructure projects present a wealth of opportunity for investors to tap into Brisbane’s economy, which is anticipated to grow to $239 billion by 2041. 

Connecting the city 

Brisbane is already connected to the world – our 24/7 airport is located just 20 minutes from the city centre, with a twin runway that boasts the highest aviation capacity in Australia, and is expected to facilitate 50 million passengers a year by 2040. 

But a slew of infrastructure projects are underway that will enhance connectivity within Brisbane. These projects will support economic growth and activate development by connecting the city centre to the suburbs as the population grows, and making it even easier to travel between the businesses, research institutes, university precincts and hospitals that are located throughout Brisbane.

These projects include the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, which will deliver a 10.2 kilometre trail line from Dutton Park in Brisbane’s southern suburbs to Bowen Hills in the city’s north. The Cross River Rail project, which includes 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and CBD, is expected to launch in 2025. 

Brisbane City Council is delivering the turn-up-and-go Brisbane Metro, which will transform the city’s public transport network. Brisbane Metro will enhance connectivity between the CBD and the suburbs with fully electric, high-capacity metros that link up with bus and train services and operate 24 hours on weekends. The first stage of the $1.7 billion Brisbane Metro project is already underway, with services set to run from 2024. 

New Green Bridges will also connect Brisbane’s popular inner-city precincts, making it even easier to get around the city on foot, by bike or scooter, or by connecting with public transport. 

Brisbane City Council will invest up to $550 million to progress the Green Bridges program, which has been recognised as nationally significant infrastructure by Infrastructure Australia. Construction of two of the bridges is already underway, and is expected to be complete in 2024. 

Reinventing the riverfront 

Two major development projects are changing the face of Brisbane’s riverfront, and are expected to help drive demand for more accommodation and hospitality services by attracting visitors to the city in droves.

The $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development will combine with the $2.5 billion Dexus Waterfront Brisbane development to enhance the city’s diverse range of dining, entertainment and recreational activities. 

Set for a staged opening from the second half of 2023, the Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development will feature four new luxury hotels (with 1,000 hotel rooms), 50 restaurants and bars, and a luxury shopping precinct. 

Construction of the Dexus Waterfront Brisbane development is also underway. Expected to open from 2027, the Waterfront Brisbane project will revitalise the Eagle Street precinct as a thriving business, retail and leisure destination, with two new office buildings, premium riverfront retail and dining, and enhanced public green spaces and amenity linking the river to the city streets. 

In the arena 

Brisbane’s green and gold runway to 2032 will also include a $2.7 billion rebuild of The Gabba. An iconic part of Brisbane’s landscape for more than a century, the Gabba has played host to domestic and international cricket, AFL and concerts. The redevelopment will increase the stadium’s capacity, modernise its facilities, and connect it to new Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro stations. 

The $2.5 Brisbane Live Arena, a new 17,000 seat sports and entertainment venue to be built in the heart of the city, will allow major concerts and international sporting events to be held in the CBD, unlocking even more opportunities for Brisbane. 

Port of call 

As the closest eastern seaboard capital city to Australia’s largest export markets, Brisbane is perfectly positioned to thrive as a logistics centre. That’s why the Port of Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest-growing container ports. A report by Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) found the Port of Brisbane and its supply chain contributed approximately $7.8 billion to Queensland’s economy in FY22, and supported almost 63,000 jobs. 

But DAE projects this contribution could grow to $15.4 billion in economic value, and 124,400 jobs, by 2050. The Port of Brisbane features 92 hectares of available land primed for development, with $466 million in infrastructure works set to be undertaken over the next five years – and as Brisbane’s population continues to grow, there’ll be increasing demand for products to be transported and stored. 

Brisbane’s bright future 

It all adds up to Brisbane being one of the most dynamic markets in the region, with a more than $25 billion infrastructure pipeline; a population that’s expected to grow by 43% by 2041; an economy that’s anticipated to grow to $239 billion by 2041; and an outstanding talent pool that’s expected to grow with the city, with 245,000 jobs predicted by 2031. 

Learn how the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) can help you to invest in Brisbane’s supercharged future here. 

Woman on the phone on the rooftop at Brisbane Business Hub