Master Plan Blueprint Proposed for Massive South Bank Overhaul

7 Min Read
Artist's rendering of proposed Future South Bank - Cultural Centre Forecourt

The Queensland Government has proposed a draft master plan for a significant upgrade of South Bank to modernise the precinct ahead of the 2032 Olympics.

The draft master plan was produced after extensive community consultation which highlighted how residents and visitors want to evolve the parklands more than 30 years on its creation after World Expo ’88.

According to the draft plan the Master Plan will future proof South Bank by exploring improvements to meet the needs and challenges of a changing world.

If approved, South Bank Corporation will proceed with an extensive range of enhancements which include upgrades to the 1.2km long rivers edge promenade, prioritisation of people and active transport over cars on Grey Street, pedestrianising Little Stanley Street, expanding the core parkland including enlarging the lagoon experience, a new cultural corridor on Glenelg Street, cultural forecourt overall with new underground restaurants as well as a ‘world-class maritime precinct’ with new museum building on the southern side.

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Aerial

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the time has come to plan for the 42-hectare precinct to be renewed and reinvigorated.

“South Bank is the People’s Park,” the Premier said.

“It’s fitting that the people have a say in its future.

“More than 10,000 pieces of feedback have shaped the Future South Bank Draft Master Plan, making it a plan by the people, for the ‘People’s Park’.”

“The Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympic Games will again propel South Bank onto the world stage and this plan will make sure the precinct remains world-class.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the Queensland Government is committed to ensuring South Bank remains a must-visit global destination.

“South Bank’s iconic beach, bougainvillea-lined arbour, rainforest and riverside greens, will be protected and celebrated,” he said.

“The plan proposes more of what the community told us they love.

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Plan from above

“It proposes more green space, places to enjoy by the river, people-friendly streets, improved active travel connections and more diverse dining opportunities.

“The vision is for South Bank to remain Brisbane’s most lively, green, and inclusive precinct for current and future generations to enjoy.”

South Bank Corporation Chief Executive Officer Bill Delves said through the master plan process we understand just how much the community, business and industry love and value South Bank.

We are proud of what this globally recognised precinct has provided to the community and economy of Queensland over the last three decades, and we look forward to making it even better for the future.

The Draft Future South Bank Plan

The master plan proposes a range of ideas and improvements to help guide the long-term evolution of the precinct.

“It provides us with a blueprint to guide the renewal of older spaces, to integrate this precinct with neighbouring projects and precincts, and to enhance South Bank’s appeal in line with state or city-wide initiatives.

“We encourage everyone to have their say on the draft master plan and help ensure South Bank’s legacy supports the future needs of our community,” he said.

Engagement on the draft master plan will be held over the next six weeks and will include a series of community pop-up information sessions and an online survey. Public consultation closes midnight 14 December 2022.

“Following public consultation, and extensive industry and stakeholder engagement, the feedback will be analysed to help determine the final master plan, which is expected to be completed by late 2023,” he said.

A detailed look at the plan’s ideas are below.

The Promenade

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – The Promenade
The Promenade ideas plan explained

Grey Street

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Destination Grey Street
Destination Grey Street Plan Explained

Little Stanley Street

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Little Stanley Street
Little Stanley Street Plan Explained

Parkland Core

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Parkland Core

Glenelg Spine

Future South Bank – Green Parkland Core Explained
Future South Bank – Water Core Explained

Glenelg Spine

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Glenelg Spine
Future South Bank – Glenelg Spine Explained

Northern Gateway

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Cultural Centre Forecourt
Future South Bank – Northern Gateway Cultural Forecourt Explained

Southern Gateway

Artist’s rendering of proposed Future South Bank – Southern Gateway Maritime Precinct
Future South Bank – Southern Gateway Maritime Precinct Explained

As Brisbane continues to grow and prepare for the 2032 Olympics, when approved, this could be Brisbane’s fifth riverfront reinvigoration project after the following riverfront projects which are in varying stages of planning or construction.

Other major non-riverfront Brisbane projects currently in development:

Future South Bank Master Plan

Future South Bank Draft Master Plan


For more information on the draft future South Bank Master Plan and to have your say go to

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  • Nepalese Peace Pagoda
    I just googled this building and see that it is heritage listed. As such, I hope this building remains an integral part of Southbank. I remember one elderly couple giving up their holiday and donating their money to keep the Pagoda at Southbank.
    Extending the swimming area is a great idea – as a family we spent two Christmas mornings at South Bank.
    There is a lot to be proud of at South Bank.

  • One thing the article missed is that it is prudent for those creatives to submit ideas before the December deadline. This is an extraordinary opportunity to get ideas in.

  • South bank has had more than enough tax payers money spent on it since expo 88. Anyone remember Gondwanaland or the butterfly house ? Both were demolished. It’s absolutely disgusting how much more will be spent on it when so many people are without a roof over their head or able to put food on the table.

  • more same old boring architecture ruins a great idea this is smoke and mirrors again by state government all this will be dated like the current buildings after another 30 years. why not get an out there competition underway for the strategy and design, like we had for the Sydney opera house and get some international artistic architectural thinking on to the job

  • This development seems like it was designed by an Architectural Student in their second year of studies. They have used very preliminary ideas for this scheme. As someone who has been practicing architecture for the past 5 years, and living in South Bank for the past 16 years I know that this is nothing more than three weeks work. Removing a very utilized road is ridiculous. How will Otto and the other restaurants on the river precinct get produce, or remove their waste? How will the residents of park avenue apartments get home and where will they park their cars/ get groceries home? How will the film Ship Inn get their stock and remove waste? On event nights where will the thousands of concert goers flock and wait for ubers/ get picked up? This development (specifically near the Goodwill Bridge) will cause more harm than anything else.

  • The Southbank Master Plan is a land use proposal for a river floodplain downriver from residences that crowd the southern and northern banks of the river and low-lying suburbs.
    The river has flooded several times and Southbank Gardens have been inundated by flood water relieving overbank flooding upstream. Very sensibly, this plan does not impose new buildings or earthworks on the floodplain that would prevent flood water flow. I am concerned that the southern riverbank bulges out opposite the lagoon, whereas it should preserve the meander bend and cut in to reduce flow resistance. Queens Wharf also has a bulge obstructing water flow and a large mid-river pier supporting the Neville Bonner bridge. The effect of these obstructions is to raise backwater upstream, worsening flooding. For flood victims, lowering the flood height by even a few centimetres can make a huge difference.

  • I see lots of pictures wit tourist boats on the river but there is no new suitable place for these boats to stop off at southbank.
    There should be a full marina planned here as a hub for the tourist boats of Brisbane to live and work out of all together.
    There is still no commercial marina in the BRISBANE city and we call ourselves a river city.
    How are we meant to show of our city by the river during the Olympics.

  • The pretty pictures currently representing the proposed “new” scheme have about a much integrity as the Des Brooks inspired master plan post Expo. Remember Grey Street was supposed to be in a tunnel for buses, trucks and motor vehicles with pedestrians able to Boulevard above east and west along the entire length of the precinct? The first stage of the “tunnel” was built and later demolished – hence the disastrous facade of the Conservatorium of Music to Grey Street now. Difficult to imagine how the planning mistakes in this very important area of Southbank can ever be retrieved without a major rethink of the Conservatorium Building, considered by many at the time if its opening as being Brisbane’s ugliest building.

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