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Expanded Gabba PDA

3 March 2023

The government have recently announced a significant expansion to the Woolloongabba 'Priority Development Area'.

You can see the expanded map in vague purple here and below.

What is a Priority Development Area?

‘Priority Development Areas’ are a planning tool that this government has developed to help them manage large, often controversial, development projects. You can read the government's overview here

I have been critical of Priority Development areas for the following reasons:

  • Community consultation requirements are extremely limited
  • There is limited transparency on how decisions about PDAs are made
  • Requirements for infrastructure charges (money that developers have to pay to the council to invest in crucial public infrastructure) are often much lower than usual developments
  • Once a broad ‘planning scheme’ is approved, development can occur over many years, with no additional requirements for community consultation
  • Local planning rules such as height limits can be overruled.

Ongoing issues with other PDAs

Many ‘Priority Development Area’ projects have been controversial, and are facing ongoing community opposition, including:

What we know about the Woolloongabba PDA at this stage

Unfortunately, we have very little information at this stage about what the government is planning for the expanded Priority Development Area. You can read the government’s press release here, which makes reference to “integrated and coordinated planning approach for the whole suburb and allow for resolving complex planning and development matters that unlock value for the surrounding communities”.

You can also read here about the plans for the original, much smaller Priority Development area, which promised to add parkland and provide greater public transport connectivity. It is not clear what of this original plan is still under consideration. The government promised in 2020 that 50% of the PDA would be parkland. This promise now seems to have been ignored. 

What we do know is that the government are intending to:

  • Demolish and rebuild the Gabba at a cost of $2.7 Billion
  • Close East Brisbane State School and force students into schools outside of the current catchment
  • Create a large, paved forecourt between the new Gabba Station and the Gabba Stadium
  • Create walkable connections through to South Bank and Kangaroo Point, which would be one welcome addition.

Here is the one artist's impression that the government has published so far:


Where to next?

We are doing our best to get more information about what is planned for the expanded Gabba PDA, and what this might mean for your home, business, church or venue. 

If you would like to be kept updated as we get more information, please sign up here

I'd also encourage anyone whose home, business or church might fall within the expanded PDA to email the Deputy Premier, and demand to know what their plans are for the Gabba area: [email protected]