The Aquis resort project in Queensland, known as the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, will move ahead as scheduled, minus a casino during the first stage of the project. Aquis must move forward to be able to gain the necessary approvals by the end of 2016 to see the construction of the resort begin in early 2017. Earlier this week, Curtis Pitt, the treasurer of Brisbane, and Aquis leaders Tony and Justin Fung met for high level talks on the project.
Pitt stated that the move will allow Aquis to start the development of the integrated resort without having to remain in the process of Integrated Resort Development. This is a vital step in securing a license to operate a casino. Pitt stated in The Cairns Post that he welcomes the proponent’s commitment to the progression of the large-scale integrated resort without the casino during the first stage and is excited to see the project move forward, hopefully to get off the ground in early 2017.
There is nothing that will stop the casino from being placed at the resort but there is the matter of the availability of a regional IRD license. Currently, it seems the approvals of the land development will speed up while the casino process is going backwards a step. During the first stage of the project development, five hotels will be created, offering 4,000 guest rooms. An exhibition center, retail shopping, aquarium, golf course and theater are among the facilities to be created.