Social infrastructure investment presents enormous opportunities, but it’s often untapped and misunderstood. Our Queensland Division commissioned Urban Economics to measure the existing and expanding contribution of social infrastructure (non-government education and health & aged care sectors) to the South-East Queensland economy, with the January 2023 report finding that social infrastructure like schools and hospitals are a $40 billion pillar of South-East Queensland’s economy, accounting for 25 per cent of jobs within the region.
Social infrastructure employs nearly 10 per cent of South East Queensland’s labour force, and directly accommodates the needs of some two million people. Over the last 25 years, two in every five new jobs were in the health and education sector.
The report shows that despite its huge injection to the economy, the perceptions of social infrastructure as an emerging asset class often limit investment in the sector, and consequently leave communities lacking vital services. This report and associated campaign aims to highlight the significant investment opportunity for capital markets and the development community, with strong social benefit dividends flowing back into the community.
With the current pipeline of health and education projects in South-East Queensland worth $9.3 billion, more needs to be done to promote the opportunities and educate the development community on the partnership opportunities available to them in delivering these vital projects.
Complex public-private funding models often prevent projects from getting off the ground, and the general lack of understanding around social infrastructure means much-needed community projects fail to attract investors.
This research highlights that the size and scale of social infrastructure in SEQ, in particular health and education, rivals institutional investment portfolios. The opportunity to partner with government through innovative delivery models will enable the delivery of crucial projects that make a real difference in the lives of Queenslanders and create significant economic and community benefit.
With a growing population and significant inbound investment ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, getting the funding and delivery models right is crucial to safeguarding quality of life and access to essential social infrastructure for Queenslanders.
Access resources and find out more about our campaign below.