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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Nice to see a massive concept put forward like this for Cairns! It will struggle to be approved and will be hit hard by Nimby's but it's nice to dream a little for now! So a second Casino for Cairns? Wonder if it will beat Brisbane? ;)

Jackpot for new Cairns mega-resort casino project

CHINESE billionaire Tony Fung has hit jackpot winning the go-ahead on plans for a $4.2 billion mega-resort and casino in Yorkeys Knob.

The Newman government last night declared his Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort a co-ordinated project which gives it a streamlined approval process.

It must now go through the hurdles of environmental, social and economic approvals before the next phase can proceed.

"What North Queensland is missing is the man-made wonder of the world,'' said Mr Fung, in his submission to the Queensland Government.

"The Aquis project would rival the great man-made structures in Macau, Dubai and Singapore and be "without peer in Australia''.

The Hong Kong-based banking and property tycoon said the mega-complex would be built with no impact on the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

It would be a magnet to draw international visitors to North Queensland's ailing tourist-dependent economy.

Latest figures show 5.7 million overseas tourists to Australia worth $19 billion, but of those just 691,000 headed north spending $877 million.

"Facilities of the like of Aquis don't only attract the Chinese mass market middle class, but also the big spending, high value, ever expanding Chinese upper class.''

Mr Fung said he asked for "no favours or financial input'' from the Queensland Government for its support of the project.

"I only seek investment certainty from an approval process.''

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney's office last night confirmed the grand plan had been declared a co-ordinated project to be overseen directly by the Co-ordinator General's office.

The Cairns Post can today reveal the grand vision for the state's newest casino.

It includes nine luxury hotels, a sports stadium, and high-end retail shopping.

There are plans for 3750 hotels rooms, 1200 apartments and 135 villas.

It also proposes a Convention and Exhibition centre, 2,500-seat theatre, 18-hole golf course, 13ha reef lagoon and one of the biggest aquariums in the world.

Under approvals, building on the 750-acre beachside site at Yorkeys Knob would start mid-2014 and be completed by 2018.

It would employ 9300 jobs in construction and 10,000 full-time jobs when operational.

While Aquis is a 'mega resort' project the proposed casino is only slightly bigger (in terms of tables and machines) than Crown Melbourne.

Aquis is seeking approvals for about 750 tables and 1500 machines.

"It is accepted that the casino operator at Aquis must pass probity and all other licencing assessment processes, and that a licence will only be granted to a particular operator after a rigorous assessment process,'' the submission said.

The Cairns Reef Hotel Casino exclusivity deal on its casino licence expired several years ago.

But the Aquis bid does not seek a monopoly or duopoly with state revenue from gaming predicted to increase between $95 million and $280 million.

Expert consultants at James Cook University have been hired to conduct an independent social, economic and environmental impact analysis.

The 65ha lake surrounding the built complex is partly to help mitigate flooding at the site from the nearby Barron River floodplain.

Advance Cairns chief executive Mark Matthews said it would be a huge economic boon for the north.

"This is the game changer,'' he said.

"Tony Fung is keen to make sure it is done properly environmentally, socially, and to the benefit of the whole region.

"This has not happened overnight, it is part of a broader investment confidence in the north.''

7,509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^^ Doubt it, Busway would be more likely as there are already plans for that.

I hope this happens at least in some form! Would give Cairns the kick it needs and boost it's global image by quite a lot!

5,136 Posts
Not sure what to make of this, I can see it attracting a new kind of tourist for Cairns but the scale of this thing seems nothing more then a pipe dream. Cairns just doesn't have the population to sustain such a massive development.

28,346 Posts
I don't think it is intended for the local population ;)

I agree that the buildings look aweful, but let's see what the look like at the end.

Tony Fung is a crazy wealthy man as well, so we need to wait and see if it can get up.

Like whatever....
9,177 Posts
Chinese billionaires scare me! I only just finished reading about a Chinese billionaires plans to build a massive new canal bigger than the Panama Canal in Nicaragua. The environmental concerns are alarming and this Cairns project is no different.

The Chinese are on the move, in every continent. They are shaping our globe and have little respect for the local environment. This so called communist state is now blinded by the wealth a free market can achieve.
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