Work on a $3 billion casino and residential project that will be situated on the Gold Coast Broadwater next to luxury hotel Palazzo Versace and Sea World, will begin as early as March 2017, according to The Courier Mail.

This past week, a process deed with Chinese-backed ASF Consortium was signed by Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jackie Trad, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, and State Development Minister Anthony Lynham, with the master plan earmarked for The Spit expected to be given the go-ahead by Cabinet sometime before this Christmas.

The residential and office space of the development will be built by ASF Consortium and the casino will be operated by James Packer’s Crown Resorts, in what is expected to be a game-changer for the Glitter Strip. Last year, after the sting of losing the rights to build the Queen’s Wharf casino in Brisbane to the Destination Brisbane Consortium (Star Entertainment Group, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and Far East Consortium-Australia) in November, Crown became the frontrunner to bid for the second casino license in the heart of Brisbane.

In addition to three towers, the project will include seven upscale restaurants and a bridge which would link The Spit to Southport in an effort to lessen traffic congestion. The grand development would also make Sea World the country’s biggest theme park, with the addition of a water park and its doubling in size. The Queen’s Wharf casino would be one of the biggest and most costly in Queensland history, as work begins on Star Entertainment’s $3 billion Queens Wharf integrated resort in Brisbane.

The Queen’s Wharf casino will be in competition with Jupiters Gold Coast at Broadbeach, which is a Star property and in the process of undergoing an $850 million upgrade. Last year, after opposition from the incoming Labor movement and residents, ASF was forced to abandon its original site at Wavebreak Island at Southport. However, the latest project is expected to get the thumbs-up from green groups as it doesn’t involve Wave Break Island or include a cruise ship terminal.

While a formal agreement between Crown and ASF hasn’t been signed yet, according to The Sunday Mail, as long as ASF’s master plan meets the high quality standards, Crown is keen to operate the casino and hotels.

The Gold Coast’s $7.5 billion Broadwater Marine project and the $8.15 billion Aquis project in Cairns were the two projects chosen by the state government to receive casino licenses in regional Queensland after three “integrated resort developments,” including Queen’s Wharf, were proposed by the former Newman government to help boost tourism and construction.

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