As part of an effort to get foreign firms interested in investing in the regeneration of its Maroochydore district, Australia’s Sunshine Coast Regional Council reportedly recently welcomed a high-level delegation from Asian casino operator NagaCorp Limited.
According to a Saturday report from the Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper, the group that flew in for the two-and-a-half-hour Queensland meeting included Timothy McNally, Chairman for NagaCorp Limited, as well as the firm’s founder and majority shareholder, Malaysian businessman Chen Lip Keong. They were purportedly joined by Gary Andrews, Business Development Director for construction firm China Railway Engineering Corporation, and world-renowned American architect Paul Steelman from Las Vegas-based Steelman Partners.
First announced by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council in 2013 before being approved by state officials a year later, the redevelopment plan for the Maroochydore neighborhood calls for the creation of the nation’s first greenfield central business district complete with new high-rise retail and commercial premises alongside a five-star hotel and modern convention and entertainment facilities. Due to be christened SunCentral, the scheme is to purportedly utilize the latest environmental innovations such as an underground rubbish collection system and see a full 40% of its 131 acres dedicated to waterways and parks.
The newspaper reported that Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has long advocated adding a large casino to the SunCentral plan and declared last year that no other Queensland location was better suited for such an enterprise.
“A showcase development of this nature would not only deliver thousands of employment opportunities for the region in construction and operation but also provide a signature tourism asset in the form of premium hotel, convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities,” Jamieson reportedly told the Sunshine Coast Daily. “There is no secret that the [Sunshine Coast Regional] Council has always planned that the Maroochydore city center is the optimal location for an international standard facility of this nature consistent with the Maroochydore city center development scheme.”
The newspaper reported that Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Limited is principally responsible for the NagaWorld casino and entertainments complex in Cambodia and holds a 41-year monopoly on operating such a facility within a 124-mile radius of Phnom Penh. It is purportedly always keen on public involvement in its projects in exchange for a lift in the profile of any partner region along with a corresponding rise in tourism.