Population growth, congestion in capital cities, transport and arterial roads, as well as the need to improve regional connectivity has continued to drive record levels of spending on major infrastructure projects across Australia.
More than $123 billion of construction work has commenced since 2015, with a committed forward pipeline of more than $200 billion aiming to build for a population projected to grow by 24 per cent to 31.4 million by 2034.
Infrastructure has remained a key focus in the urban fringes of Australia’s four largest cities—Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth—where the majority of the country’s population boom is occurring.
There are currently 130 major infrastructure projects under way with many property developers eyeing off valuable neighbouring land banks to provide housing to accommodate the nation’s rising numbers.
High-profile development projects close to new planned infrastructure and growth areas have continued to pop up across the country with a number of masterplan communities aiming to tap into the high degree of transport and infrastructure connectivity.
Here are the five major infrastructure projects currently spurring commercial and residential development across the country.
Perth’s ambitious $4.1 billion rail program, Metronet, will deliver 72 kilometres of new passenger rail and up to 18 new stations.
The Metronet plans include a rail link between Cockburn and Thornlie, a train line to Ellenbrook and extensions of the Midland and Armadale lines.
The WA Planning Commission recently approved the structure plan for Alkimos Central a new development centre providing a mix of residential, retail, recreational, entertainment and commercial uses in the fast growing suburb of Alkimos which is projected to hit a population of 60,000.
The 200-hectare Alkimos Central project, headed by Landcorp, will be built around the first new Metronet station, and is set to be complete by 2021.
The Midland, Bayswater and Forrestfield station precincts have also been combined into a redevelopment area known as the Metronet East Redevelopment Area.
Meanwhile, developers including Mirvac, Australian Capital Equity, Frasers Property Australia, LendLease Development and PowerHouse City have moved to redevelop the long-dormant East Perth Power Station site after $30 million was contributed to the site by the WA Government to prepare it for future development.
The government highlighted the needs to transform the waterfront site that has sat vacant for nearly 40 years, providing an opportunity to create a new Metronet precinct around East Perth Station.
It’s been one year since construction giant Lendlease and CIMIC began undertaking major earthworks on the Western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek with a multitude of high profile developers jockeying to secure land banks at the new Aerotropolis.
The Aerotropolis is a region earmarked to take advantage of economic activity stimulated by the new airport, which is due for completion in 2026, and is anticipated to create upwards of 200,000 jobs by attracting new and emerging industries.
Up to of 11,000 hectares of land surrounding the $5.3 billion airport has been made available after being divided into 10 precincts, with three initial precincts—the Aerotropolis Core, Northern Gateway and South Creek—identified by the government as offering the greatest growth potential.
Six of the 10 precincts will be given priority for rezoning by the middle of the year.
The first precinct, the 1,055-hectare Aerotropolis Core, is set to deliver 60,000 jobs and 8,000 homes when fully-developed, while the 1,120-hectare Northern Gateway will deliver 22,500-plus jobs and 3,400 homes.
Major players which ambitions to build residential and commercial projects near the airport include Mirvac, Scentre Group, Lendlease and Logos.
UNSW Sydney, the University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong, and Western Sydney University are also negotiating with the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority to establish a combined facility.
Queensland's biggest infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, is pressing forward with 18 worksites across the city including demolition at Albert Street in the heart of Brisbane's CBD and work at Roma Street under way.
The project, which will include four new underground stations and upgrades to six existing stations across Brisbane, will also result in the multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of the Woolloongabba and Roma Street precincts.
The new rail line, part of Brisbane’s broad infrastructure pipeline, which includes the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Project, new Brisbane Airport Redevelopment, and Brisbane Quarter, is also playing a large part in the city's improving employment base and push for commercial development.
The pipeline of mega projects has caused a rise in demand for high-quality office space with 23,600sq m absorbed over the past six months predominantly by resource-industry employers and the co-working sector looking to be desirable city centre locations.
The new $11 billion Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will enable more than half a million extra passengers to use Melbourne’s rail network during peak periods every week, and save people up to 50 minutes each day during their commutes.
The transport project, which is building twin nine‐kilometre rail tunnels through the central business district from South Kensington to South Yarra and five new underground stations, is scheduled for delivery in 2025.
Costs of the project, have been rumoured to already have blown out by as much as $2 billion, partially due to the scope of the project being widened and unexpected technical risks.
The new stations, located at Arden, Parkville, Domain as well as two new CBD stations, are anticipated to drum up residential development with upwards of 600 hectares of land available for urban renewal on the doorstep of Melbourne’s CBD.
The 56-hectare Arden Urban Renewal Precinct in North Melbourne is high on the list of government priorities, with the new station expected to drive development in the area.
The precinct is slated to deliver more than 1 million square metres of developed real estate to accommodate 34,000 new knowledge-intensive jobs and 15,000 new residents as it evolves into a new destination for Melbourne.
The Sydney Metro, being built across three stages, City and Southwest, Northwest, and West, is currently Australia's largest public transport project.
The CBD and south-west extension, due to open by 2024, will cost up to $12 billion, and a further extension into the western suburbs will cost another another $10 billion, according to the pipeline.
The public transport project will deliver 31 metro stations and more than 66 kilometres of new metro rail across Sydney providing for up to 40,000 people per hour, almost double the 24,000 people the current suburban rail network carries.
Singapore-backed Frasers and the private Winten Property Group recently received planning approval for four commercial buildings ranging between nine and 17-storeys to be located at the entrance to Macquarie Park’s new Sydney Metro station.
The $750 million Macquarie Exchange, located on a 15,600sq m site in suburban Sydney, will comprise 74,093sq m of commercial space, 5693sq m of retail including a proposed childcare centre and gym and a central park with more than 2200sq m of green space.
At the Castle Hill Showground Metro precinct, the NSW Government has plans for nine residential and commercial buildings up to 20-storeys high.
A total of 1,900 homes have been proposed as part of the redevelopment of the Metro precinct, which has been the centre of several multimillion-dollar proposals from private developers since the NSW government announced the area would be a priority precinct.
While at Cherrybrook Metro Station, plans to transform humble homes into 46 high-rise towers ranging from two to 16 storeys in height—which were rejected by a northwest Sydney council last year—have been revived.
The multi-million-dollar proposal by Sydney-based developer Toplace, would see dozens of towers stretch along Castle Hill road, is currently within a rezoning review submitted to NSW Planning.
The Kellyville and Bella Vista station precinct proposals by the government's development arm Landcom, could also provide up to as many as 5,600 homes in buildings up to 21-storeys high around two new rail stations in Sydney's north-west.
The green light has also been given to the “Metro Quarter” proposal by the government’s UrbanGrowth Development Corporation, paving the way for three residential towers of 23, 25 and 29-storeys and four commercial buildings up to 10-storeys at the Waterloo site.