Ambitions for an AUD$1 billion Global Tourism Hub in Cairns along with a new Gold Coast resort and integrated casino will no longer proceed after the Queensland Government opted to end exclusive negotiations with The Star Entertainment Group.
Instead, the casino giant will continue with AUD$4.5 billion in previously committed investments including a major refurbishment of The Star Grand. At the same time, construction continues at The Dorsett, with progress also steaming ahead at the company’s redevelopment of Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane, all parts in a comprehensive $2 billion Master Plan now in effect for Southeast Queensland.
Recently, The Star was one of three bidders expressing interest in a Global Tourism Hub (GTH) in Cairns, which would have been a waterfront site featuring multiple hotels, a casino, numerous entertainment and recreation facilities, conference spaces, retail and a plethora of restaurant concepts. The other two parties eager to develop the GTH were Hard Rock International and a joint venture involving Reef Casino.
Queensland State Development Minister, Kate Jones, said the deals on the table did not stack up for taxpayers and negotiations with The Star had ended mutually and amicably.
“We were not able to reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino licence exclusivity,” Minister Jones said.
“Global market conditions are clearly impacting investment at present and I can confirm that this government has no intention of reviving the market process for a new integrated resort – including a second casino – on the Gold Coast.”
The Star Entertainment Group said it retained full confidence in the future of tourism and that its investments will help the government deliver further economic benefits for Queensland including the addition of thousands of new jobs.