Will $2.7B Gabba Rebuild Be Axed in 2032 Games Overhaul?

New comments from Premier Steven Miles have cast new doubt over a controversial $2.7 billion Gabba rebuild ahead of the 2032 Games.

Thu 18 Jan 24


An Olympic review will look for a better option than rebuilding the Gabba after Queensland Premier Steven Miles flagged concerns with the sprawling $2.7 billion price tag.

In November, Wood Central revealed that the Gabba was subject to “knock down / rebuild” in what would be Australia’s largest-ever stadium rebuild.

Today, Premier Miles – who pledged to use “cleaner, greener and more sustainable” building materials as part of the $7 billion-plus infrastructure in November– wants to find an alternative to the Gabba two months after announcing the project.

It comes as Graham Quirk, the former Brisbane Lord Mayor who was instrumental in pushing for the bid, has been appointed to lead a 60-day Olympic infrastructure review starting on Thursday, with the “divisive” Gabba project set to top his list.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has appointed former Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to head a review into the Olympics spending and ensure the value for money on infrastructure – footage courtesy of @9NewsAus.

“Many people call him the father of the Brisbane Games, and I can’t think of anyone better to lead this review,” Premier Miles said.

Rivals have called for the reconstruction to be axed due to escalating costs after the plan’s initial $1 billion price tag blew out to almost three times that estimate.

“Queenslanders are concerned about that level of expense. I certainly am, too,” Premier Miles told reporters earlier today.

“There were several stages through last year where I set my department …(to) find me new options, and the choices that came back were not as good,” he said before adding, “I’m hopeful this independent review process, this fresh set of eyes … can come back to us with options … that is better value for money.”

In November 2023, the Brisbane City Council posted an updated Master Plan for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Infrastructure – footage courtesy of @AustralianOlympicTeam.

Mr Quirk – who will be assisted by experts headed by Ken Kanofski and Michelle Morris – will report to Development and Infrastructure Minister Grace Grace on March 18.

Premier Miles confirmed the recommendations would be accepted even if it meant axing the rebuild.

“The advice to me consistently had been that this was the best option to meet the requirements of the Games – I want a fresh set of eyes on that,” he said of the Gabba reconstruction.”

“They might come back and say that’s true, in which case I hope that puts the issue behind us.”

“But my preference would be that they come back and say, ‘Actually, there is an alternative, and here’s what we think you should do,’ in which case I will take that advice.”

Asked if he preferred to ditch the rebuild, Premier Miles said, “My preference is to find a better value for money outcome”.

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The site is subject to an expanded Master Plan, which sees a more integrated and coordinated planning approach for the whole suburb and allows for resolving complex planning and development matters that unlock value for the surrounding communities (Image Credit: Queensland Government)

In November, Deputy Premier Miles announced that the Gabba would be subject to full reconstruction over four years starting in 2026. 

However, he ushered in the Olympic infrastructure review barely a month after taking over as premier from Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Premier Miles called for the review to ensure the Brisbane Games united Queenslanders, “Brisbane 2032 will be the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever,” he said.

“But concerns about the cost of some venues have made it a divisive issue in the Queensland community – I want to change that.”

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Brisbane Live is set to host the Aquatics at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games. It is part of a $1.7 Billion redevelopment of the Roma Street Parklands and Brisbane Transit Centre. (Photo Credit: Brisbane Development)

Other proposed Olympic venues that will be assessed include the inner-city $2.5 billion Brisbane Arena set to host the 2032 Olympic swimming in a drop-in pool.

Projects will be assessed to determine if they can be delivered, provide value for money, are fit for purpose and create a “substantial legacy”.

“It will just be looking at the big ticket items,” Mr Quirk said before adding, “I will not be seeking any extension of time; 2032 is not going to wait for us, so each day counts.”


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