No shortage of rivals to Aquis mega-resort at Yorkeys Knob for casino gaming licences
(Re-published by The Tourism News 15th August 2014. Whilst this is clearly an ‘old story’, the previous ideal of a legitimately competitive tender for the available Queensland licenses has been impeded by the continued ‘contributions’ to the city of Cairns by the Fung family, who hope to develop an $8.2b casino on the Great Barrier Reef.)
From The Cairns Post, 15th January 2014
THE developers of the $4.2 billion Aquis mega-resort at Yorkeys Knob face competition from at least five others for two regional Integrated Resort Developments’ gaming licences.
Three proposals are on the Gold Coast and two on the Capricorn Coast. Another wildcard is Clive Palmer’s Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast.
On the Gold Coast, proposals that would fit the bill include the Broadwater cruise ship terminal, Bob Ell’s $2.1 billion cruise ship terminal at Bilinga and the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct.
The $600 million Capricorn integrated resort near Yeppoon and Tower Holdings’ $600 million resort development on Great Keppel Island are two Central Queensland projects.
A Chinese group is believed to have won the tender to build a mega-resort on Wavebreak Island on the Gold Coast featuring a 50-level tower, a casino and a cruise ship terminal.
ASF China Property Consortium is believed to be have been selected as the preferred bidder for the Broadwater Marine Project.
The project requires a casino to fund the ongoing Seaway dredging required for a cruise terminal.’
Mr Ell, a billionaire developer,late last year refloated plans for his cruise ship project at Bilinga on the southern Gold Coast.
As well as a cruise ship port, the Gold Coast Ocean Terminal project includes plans for a 500-berth marina, superyacht terminal, resort and casino all to be linked to the nearby Gold Coast airport. But Mr Ell’s Leda Group faces opposition from surfers, environmentalists and local residents.
The Gold Coast Cultural Precinct is a $280 million project on the former Gold Coast City Council headquarters and arts centre on 17ha of land at Evandale.
It includes a 14-storey “twisting new arts museum” with an exterior walkway, a top-floor viewing lounge and a bungee jump as well as a 1200-seat state-of-the-art theatre, outdoor art galleries, a massive amphitheatre, floating gardens and fine-dining restaurants.
The Great Keppel redevelopment is a planned ecotourism resort to include a 250-room hotel, 750 villas, 600 apartments, a 250-berth marina and a Greg Norman-designed golf course.
The Capricorn Integrated resort,proposed by Iwasaki Sangyo Australia, is a 1500ha development that includes a 300-room, five-star resort, a golf course, caravan and recreational vehicle park, a Wagyu cattle farm for farm stays, cattle and sheep farming and educational activities, a residential community of 8000 dwellings and a village centre, an airstrip and refurbishment of the existing Mercure Capricorn Resort.
The State Government is not speculating on any of the possibilities.
Premier Campbell Newman has said that March 31 this year is the critical date when expressions of interest close for the integrated resort developments with the associated casino licences.
The IRD registration of interest document has outlined a 12-month timetable with the successful applicants expected to be announced early next year.
A spokeswoman for Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Jeff Seeney said it would not be known who was applying for the casino licences until after the deadline.