Plans for a $3 billion casino and residential project for the Gold Coast on The Spit have been laid out by James Packer’s Crown Resorts and the Chinese-owned ASF Consortium.
The Courier Mail reported that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jackie Trad and State Development Minister Anthony Lynham signed off on a process deed this week.
This has given the development’s master plan an expected start date for construction as early as 2017 as long as final approvals from Cabinet go through, as predicted, before Christmas.
Likely to be one of Queensland’s priciest developments in history, the project will be situated between Palazzo Versace and Sea World resort and will include three towers, seven high-end restaurants and a spectacular Florida Keys-style bridge designed to reduce the area’s traffic by linking The Spit to Southport.
The overall development of the Gold Coast was previously set to also include a cruise ship terminal, however environmentalist objected heavily to this proposal and the concept was ultimately scrapped by the government.
Despite this initial setback, environmentalists have not objected in the same way to this Packer and ASF casino and residential project, as its potential environmental impacts do not carry the same weight as a ship terminal.
ASF and Crown have been in talks for months about Crown operating the casino and hotels, and ASF director Louis Chien told The Courier Mail continue to believe in Queensland and in the Gold Coast.
“It’s been a long journey but it has allowed us to ensure that what we deliver is going to be something truly iconic.
“It will help raise the profile and the brand of southeast Queensland.”
While the wheels of progress are turning for this project and momentum is building, the Queensland Government will undergo further assessment to ensure the viability of such a venture.
Community groups and the Opposition, however, claim to know little about the project and demand that further information needs to be revealed and further consultation should be included in the process.