The government of Queensland in northeast Australia has approved Destination Brisbane Consortium’s development plan for the Queen’s Wharf precinct in Brisbane, according to a statement by the government and a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange by Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR).
Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, and Planning lauded the milestone as one of the most important urban renewal projects in the history of Brisbane, the third most populated city in the country with some 2.5 million residents.
“This is the green light for construction, the green light for jobs, and the green light for a new Brisbane,” said Dick.
The plan is the master plan for the district and any future approvals will be done through the Plan of Development. It allows Destination Brisbane Consortium, made up of 50% Star Entertainment along with Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and a unit of Far East Consortium Pty Ltd, to develop an integrated resort, revitalize waterfront public areas, repurpose historic heritage places, and develop a residential precinct.
The casino, a part of the integrated resort area, is allowed to begin operations when the project is completed.
Minister Dick said: “This project is going to significantly shape and transform Queensland in terms of jobs and economic growth, so it’s important to address any concerns and deliver great outcomes for our heritage, for new public and open spaces and for exciting urban design,” according to a joint statement by the ministers of development, tourism, and roads released December 21, 2017.
In their filing with the ASX (permissions wall), Star Entertainment said: “The Star, along with its consortium partners Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, will review the development approval terms and progress the next steps for the project in accordance with the development agreements with the State of Queensland”.
The Star also said that they expect to release a further update on the project along with their first-half financial results for the fiscal year 2018.
Star Entertainment rebranded in late 2015 from their former name as Echo Entertainment Group Limited. The company operates casinos throughout Australia. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises is a Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate with hotel and development interests. They also control the world’s largest jewelry enterprise. Last December they announced they had signed a deal to own and operate the massive and until-then beleaguered Baha Mar Resort in the Caribbean. The Far East Consortium has operated in Australia since 1994 and has completed more over $2.5 billion in renewal projects in the city of Melbourne.
According to a report in GGRAsia, the integrated resorts casino license is expected to be valid for 99 years with no competition allowed within 60 km (37.3 miles) for the first 25 years of operations.
According to the government’s joint release, the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project will deliver:
$1.69 billion annual increase in tourism spend
1.39 million additional tourists per annum
12 football fields of enhanced public open space
A new pedestrian bridge, the Neville Bonner Bridge, from the CBD to South Bank
More than $1 billion to state coffers