The Star Group doesn’t believe there needs to be a second casino on the Gold Coast.
The Star Group doesn’t believe there needs to be a second casino on the Gold Coast.

Premier Palaszczuk rolls dice on second Coast casino

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today announce her government will test the market for interest in developing a second gaming resort on the Gold Coast.

Ms Palaszczuk is officially going to call for global registrations of interest in proposals under State Government's global tourism hub (GTH) framework at a Gold Coast function this morning.

Proponents will have until April to register interest in what she called the "best proposal that would boost the tourism and entertainment offering for the city", the Bulletin can reveal.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is ready to open registered interest on the Coast’s second casino (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is ready to open registered interest on the Coast’s second casino (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Ms Palaszczuk will unveil the long-awaited decision to test the market alongside Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones who said it "could be a game-changer" for the city.

The move by Ms Palaszczuk comes a week after Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier slammed plans for a rival casino, declaring it a myth the city needed a GTH.

Aerial view of Carey Park at Southport, an area proposed for a new Casino for the Gold Coast. Picture Glenn Hampson
Aerial view of Carey Park at Southport, an area proposed for a new Casino for the Gold Coast. Picture Glenn Hampson

Mr Bekier argued The Star Gold Coast's $2 billion Broadbeach masterplan - with a third tower under construction and four more planned in the next 10 years - already represented one.

In a statement to the Bulletin on this morning's announcement, Ms Jones said her Government would only approve a GTH that had new entertainment venues, convention space, luxury hotels, high-end dining and retail.

PUSH TO MAKE LIST PUBLIC OF SECOND CASINO

"We want to see new tourism product that sets the Gold Coast apart from the rest of the world," Ms Jones said.

It was expected to create 6000 jobs and attract an extra million visitors annually, she added.

"This could be a game-changer for the Coast by giving the city world-class entertainment and convention facilities, events, tourism experiences and attractions.

"We've already had strong interest from the global market since the decision was made in August 2017 to retain a casino licence on the Gold Coast," she said. "We are determined to get the best outcome for the Gold Coast."

Tourism Minister Kate Jones: “We are determined to get the best outcome for the Gold Coast.” Picture: Jerad Williams
Tourism Minister Kate Jones: “We are determined to get the best outcome for the Gold Coast.” Picture: Jerad Williams

KATE JONES ON SECOND GOLD COAST CASINO

In green lighting the decision to test the market, Ms Jones said the State Government would set up a Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel to advise her government throughout any procurement process.

The panel will be chaired by respected Gold Coast businessman John Witheriff with representatives from City of Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport and other business and community leaders.

Ms Jones has promised any new gaming resort would not see a net increase in the city's mandated pokie machine numbers - and said the gaming footprint of a GTH would be limited to five per cent of its floor area.

Eleven sites are in play but remain secret and speculation about publicly owned land at Carey Park in Southport being in the mix continues to cause protests from residents.

"We're not going to say yes to anything that does not have the strong support of the Gold Coast tourism industry and community," Ms Jones said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said a GTH had the potential to "take tourism to a whole new level. Today is a great day for the Gold Coast.

"While tourism continues to grow, unless we invest in new opportunities we risk losing market share.

"The previous state government created this casino licence to help the Gold Coast reach our tourism potential. We've lobbied really hard to ensure the Palaszczuk Government honours this licence for the Gold Coast community," he said.



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