This morning Andrew Becker Integran Advisor for Planning, Development and Infrastructure attended the industry breakfast on SEQ on the Global Stage, featuring Scott Smith (Council of Mayors), Jason Van Paassen (SMEC) and Tan Yigitcanlar (QUT), talking particularly about the potential 2032 Olympic bid for the SEQ Region.

The key points discussed were:

  • Infrastructure required to host an Olympics;
  • Existing and proposed infrastructure for SEQ to be prepared to host an Olympics;
  • SEQ City Deal and the requirement of integrated planning between the three tiers of Government;
  • Smart cities and how Brisbane stacks up against the rest of Australian Local Government Areas;
  • The National Faster Rail Agency;
  • Faster Rail proposal for the SEQ region to connect regional centers;
  • Creating ½ hour smart cities to allow citizens to reach all services and activities with a maximum ½ hour trip time;
  • City planning being more than just planning for the people and community, but also the natural environment.

Scott Smith talked specifically around the Olympic bid and how the infrastructure required to deliver an Olympic Games is either in place, or already in the development pipeline in SEQ. A bid would only be put in place if it would provide a positive outcome for the region and a lasting legacy that would continue to improve the economy for SEQ.

The IOC are changing the way they are selecting cities and looking to regions that already have infrastructure in place to ensure that hosting the event creates a legacy for that city/region rather than debt and abandoned infrastructure. Smith stated that “a bid would be a great way of creating a formal deadline to deliver this infrastructure that SEQ already needs to service future growth, such as transport, accommodation (particularly for the tourism sector), and upgrades to major sporting facilities”.

He reiterated that the focus needs to be around the transport requirements and connecting regional centres using a “faster rail” network, as discussed by Jason Van Paassen. Funding will be one of the key barriers, as the proposal suggests a faster rail network from the Gold Coast, through the Brisbane CBD up to the Sunshine Coast, and from the Brisbane BCD through Ipswich and out to Toowoomba.

There was no discussion around the provision of other major infrastructure (e.g. water and wastewater services) which will also be required to cater for SEQ growth. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is if SEQ bid and how quickly infrastructure can be funded and delivered should they be successful!