In Australia, the developer behind the stalled Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort project has revealed that he is happy to comply with a renewed investigation into his business affairs despite dropping out of a probity check nearly two years ago.
According to a report from The Cairns Post newspaper, the Queensland Office Of Liquor And Gaming Regulation explained that Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung failed to provide enough plans or probity information when formally withdrawing from the government’s integrated resort development process in February of 2015. However, he has since reapplied for a casino licence for the proposed multi billion-dollar resort at Yorkeys Knob approximately twelve miles north of the city of Cairns and will be required to undergo renewed probity checks.
It has been three years since Fung first formally lodged a proposal with the government for the integrated casino resort on the Queensland coast with the first stage of the $6.22 billion development due to include five hotels offering 4,000 rooms and an artificial lake with an island alongside retail shops, an aquarium, a theatre, a lagoon, an 18-hole golf course, a convention and exhibition facility and a cultural heritage center.
The newspaper reported that the Queensland Office Of Liquor And Gaming Regulation has agreed to re-enter negotiations for the development of the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort subject to certain conditions including the need to fully co-operate in a new investigation. It explained that delays in the previous examination, which ran from May to October of 2014, were due to the developer failing to provide sufficient information.
“Under the Casino Control Act 1982, a casino licence cannot be awarded until, among other things, the Minister and Governor in Council are satisfied the applicant and its associates are suitable,” read a statement from the Queensland Office Of Liquor And Gaming Regulation.
Fung abandoned a proposed $210.73 million takeover of the Pullman Reef Casino in Cairns two years ago following the expiration of a deadline and instead purchased the Casino Canberra for $4.58 million before announcing plans to spend around $251.88 million renovating the property.
Regarding its renewed assessment for the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort project, a spokesperson for Fung told The Cairns Post that the entrepreneur is happy to deal with the Queensland Office Of Liquor And Gaming Regulation at an appropriate time in the future.
“We are progressing a range of other aspects associated with the project mainly to do with land use approvals, which do not require input from the Office Of Liquor And Gaming Regulation,” said the spokesperson.