Queensland Mulls $4.2bn Casino ResortAugust 2, 2013 2:16 pm
The state of Queensland in Australia is currently considering allowing a A$4.2 billion ($3.75 billion) casino resort to be built in the state’s north by Hong Kong tycoon Tony Fung.
If the ambitious casino project is approved an 848 acres stretch of rural land north of Cairns will then eventually be cleared to make way for The Aquis Great Barrier Reef resort, complete with nine luxury hotels, 1,200 apartments, 135 villas, a conference center, golf course, a 25,000 seat sports stadium, as well as one of the world’s largest aquariums.
Already, the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort has been given streamlined approval status as a “coordinated project” but will also have to pass environmental, social and economic approvals before being given the go-ahead. In the meantime, however, the project has attracted criticism from some of the local community, with King of the Knob community elected leader Jim Cadman, explaining:
“It just seems like no one’s done any homework, we’ve got beach erosion concerns, we’ve got environmental fishery concerns, we’ve got flood mitigation concerns – I think nearly every hotel and golf course in Cairns would object to having five more hotels and a golf course..It will be a very significant challenge to do a development of that scale without having impacts on the reef.”
All concerns being met, however, and the integrated casino resort could be completed by 2018 and employ around 9,000 people during construction and provide for 10,000 full-time jobs when fully operational. It would also give a huge boost to local tourism, especially from Asia, and as billionaire developer Tony Fung, explains:
“We want to create a new jewel in the Australian tourism crown and provide a trigger for the emergence of Cairns as a globally recognised destination..The largely undeveloped nature of Yorkeys Knob and its proximity to the Cairns airport provides an incredible opportunity to create an integrated tourism facility that puts the city on the global stage..Aquis gives Queensland an opportunity to fend off its southern and regional competitors for the increasingly important Chinese tourism market.”