New Brisbane casino proposal

Casino firms unveil vision for Brisbane waterfront

SIX-star hotels, river side light and water shows, and new casinos could soon be part of Brisbane's waterfront.

Two competing visions to redevelop Brisbane's Queen's Wharf were unveiled by casino operators yesterday.

Bidders Destination Brisbane, run by Treasury Casino operators Echo Entertainment, and a Crown Resorts-led bid have given the Queensland Government their visions for the redevelopment.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney unveiled them in Brisbane on Monday.

The development will see the riverside site in the Brisbane CBD turned into a luxury hotel, casino and retail hub.

The Destination Brisbane proposal would see an open "arc" building with a sky deck overlooking the river, three six star hotels - including a Ritz Carlton hotel - and two other hotels, as well as 50 bars and dining locations, a "River Arena" which would play water and light shows nightly, a riverfront cinema and a new theatre at QPAC.

Echo Entertainment Group Chairman John O'Neill said the project was the "most significant redevelopment project in the history of the Brisbane CBD".

"Firstly, I would like to thank the Queensland Government for providing this opportunity to outline our plans today, and to congratulate them on their foresight and vision, and for the highly professional way in which they have managed the bidding and probity processes," he said.

"Brisbane should have the best integrated resort in Australia. Not just a good integrated resort that plays second fiddle to Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, but the best integrated resort in the country."

Mr Seeney said the redevelopment could revitalise the Brisbane CBD as an entertainment precinct.

"We have a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise this area to create a destination that not only attracts international visitors to our city, but also opens it up for the people of Brisbane to enjoy," Mr Seeney said.

"This redevelopment will bring thousands of jobs to the city both in the construction phase of the project but also in tourism, retail and entertainment during the life of the new resort.

Mr Seeney said moving government agencies into the under construction 1 William Street building allowed the area to be redeveloped.

Mr Seeney said there was still a way to go for the government and the proponents to resolve the commercial and financial aspects of their proposals, and for the stringent probity process to be finalised before the government would offer a gaming licence.
A decision on the preferred proponent for the Queen's Wharf precinct is expected in the first half of 2015.

- APN NEWSDESK



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