In Australia, the government of Queensland has reportedly torpedoed a plan that would have seen Chinese firm ASF Consortium build a $3 billion integrated casino resort near the coastal community of Southport.
According to a report from the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper, Sydney-listed ASF Consortium had planned to partner with Chinese state-owned CCCC Guangzhou Dredging Company Limited and China State Construction Engineering Company Limited in order to construct its Gold Coast Integrated Resort Development on a twelve-acre parcel of land on The Spit peninsula between Sea World Gold Coast and the site of the Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-Operative.
The newspaper reported that the five-tower development was set to include a 77,500 sq ft public piazza complete with restaurants and conference facilities offering views of the coastal city of Gold Coast. The proposition was to moreover include a 1,200-seat amphitheater complete with a canopy, two public beaches and a large-scale waterfall alongside a casino that Caesars Entertainment Corporation was said to be interested in operating.
However, yesterday reportedly saw Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announce that the entire project had been canceled after the required public consultation showed that the local community did not support its construction.
“That casino license will remain on the Gold Coast but there will be no integrated resort development here on The Spit,” Palaszczuk told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “There are big issues when it comes to transport and the building of high-rise buildings; the traffic solution on this beautiful part of the Gold Coast would involve something of an eyesore. This area is what Central Park is to New York City.”
The newspaper reported that the rejection, which comes 28 months after ASF Consortium failed to secure approval for a proposed $5.3 billion similar scheme on nearby Wave Break Island, has additionally jeopardized a plan from Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate to bring a new $358 million cruise ship terminal to the area. This is because the economic viability of this proposition is said to be heavily reliant on the neighboring casino bringing in a large number of foreign tourists.
“The Spit offers great opportunities for job creation through tourism, entertainment and recreation,” Palaszczuk told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “What The Spit really needs now is a master plan to revitalize it and increase its benefit to the Gold Coast as a community asset. To be clear, this is not a decision that rules out a future integrated resort development on the Gold Coast.”