Brisbane is booming, not just in terms of its population, which is expected to rise to almost 3 million by 2031, but the infrastructure to support this growing number of people is coming along nicely, too.
The Palaszczuk Labour government anticipated this population explosion and so started some serious projects – a $944 million urban metro service and a second Cross River Rail facility. This CRR project will cost $5.4 billion and it’ll be tunnelled below the Brisbane River.
According to Labour, the CRR project will create almost 8,000 jobs, as well as an additional 10km of railtrack, five new station and a 5.9km tunnel.
There is some criticism
Residents are not happy – half of promised improvements are carried out and not the bits that help them
Many Brisbane residents believe that the infrastructure projects will reduce the amount of green space available to them, as well as lead to more high-density housing complexes. These two things in concert don’t make for a happy city, according to resident lobbying groups.
The work is necessary, though
The demand for Brisbane’s rail services will grow alongside the population, so there does need to be development in the provisions.
There will be some social benefits
Improving and expanding transport infrastructure has more benefits to a city than just providing more places to catch a train or making it easier to reach the CBD. The improvements will be felt around Greater Brisbane in terms of less road traffic congestion and fewer overcrowded trains, as well as in increased job, education and downstream business opportunities to the million or so people living along the Gold Coast, Cleveland and Beenleigh rail lines.
People living on the Gold Coast will be around 20 minutes closer to the Queensland Parliament building, or to the QUT Gardens Point campus. The fact that commuters will find it quicker and easier to get to the CBD can’t be overlooked, as well as the fact that the new Albert Street station will improve accessibility.
It’ll be interesting to see if any of these facilities embraces solar and renewable power to the full reducing operating costs and carbon emissions long into the future.