The State Government of Queensland has rejected the $3 billion casino resort plan for Gold Coast’s Southport Spit area. Hong Kong-based ASF Consortium had submitted a proposal earlier this year to develop a five-tower integrated resort with a casino on the state-owned land.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed earlier this week that the plan was rejected and any development having beyond three floors was ruled out on The Spit.
Palaszczuk stated that the public consultation had clearly established the community’s opposition to the project. The ASF proposal for The Spit had faced strong opposition from all quarters.
In a statement Premier Palaszczuk said,
That casino license will remain on the Gold Coast but there will be no integrated resort development here on The Spit. 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.
The Premier noted that the transport problems associated with any project on The Spit were difficult to surmount, though she did not reject the idea of a developing an integrated resort there in the future. Palaszczuk highlighted that it was now essential to develop a Master Plan to revive The Spit and turn it into a flourishing asset for the community.
This is the second time that an ASF casino proposal has faced rejection. Earlier its WaveBreak Island Cruise Ship Terminal plan was rejected by the state government in 2015. The Premier said that the government would be consulting with the Crown law in regards to whether any compensation was due to ASF for having already invested millions during the project development phase.
ASF had been named as the preferred operator for building the second casino resort in the Gold Coast and had started preliminary development work. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad also stated that creating a Master Plan for the region would be ideal as it would ensure the best results for the community.
He said that plan for The Spit would be built in sync with the Gold Coast Council’s planning scheme, and it would help bring a balance between environment concerns, community value and successful commercial development. The master plan is expected to take 18 months to be finalized. Around 6500 submissions have been made regarding the future use of public land available on The Spit as well as the ASF proposal for an integrated resort.