Circular Quay Precinct Renewal
Structured Market Engagement

Australia’s Waterfront to the World

Positioned between two Australian icons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay is one of Australia’s great historical and cultural precincts. The Circular Quay precinct is adjacent to Sydney’s Harbour CBD, which is being transformed by a $5 billion pipeline of public and private sector investment.

Currently, there are about 50 million visits to Circular Quay precinct every year – that figure is forecast to grow by more than 40 percent to 81 million by 2041. With 35 million customer trips every year, Circular Quay is also one of Sydney’s major transport interchanges Circular Quay is a popular tourist and visitor destination and a major contributor to Australia’s $38 billion tourism industry. It is the stage for Sydney’s premier cultural events such as the New Year’s Eve, Australia Day and the Vivid Festival, and has significant importance in Australia’s cultural heritage, spanning from the Gadigal people of the Eora nation through to European settlement.

The need for renewal

Circular Quay’s transport infrastructure and public domain does not currently fulfil the potential of its globally-recognised location. There is an immediate need to upgrade the Circular Quay ferry wharves to make them accessible for all customers and to cater for further growth. The public space around the interchange also needs to be improved to manage the movements of people with different destinations, such as customers and visitors, and open up connections and views to surrounding areas.

Circular Quay Precinct Renewal

In 2015, the NSW Government announced that AU$200 million would be reserved through the Restart NSW fund for the upgrading of the Circular Quay ferry wharves. The need for the wharf upgrade creates the opportunity for the NSW Government to explore opportunities for a renewal of Circular Quay beyond the wharf, in partnership with the private sector.

Structured Market Engagement

The NSW Government is seeking partners who can deliver its vision of upgrading the ferry wharves and renewing the precinct to create a world-class destination. This process is known as Structured Market Engagement. SME is aimed at encouraging ideas from the private sector prior to government confirming a concept or reference design. The process unlocks the opportunity for the market to provide their concepts for the precinct in a more collaborative, but competitive, environment. The SME will provide the opportunity for the private sector to make an offer to the NSW Government to design, develop, construct, operate, maintain, finance and manage the
revitalisation of Circular Quay.