Just days after US casino giant Caesars was named as the likely operating force behind ASF Consortium’s A$3bn casino resort planned for Southport Spit on Australia’s Gold Coast, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pulled the plug.
In what has been a described as a political move to win votes, Premier Palaszczuk scrapped the project despite a former government giving the Chinese-led consortium the right to develop the land.
ASF has not ruled out the possibility of legal action. ASF Director Louis Chien questioned Queensland’s credibility as a destination for investment.
“This brings in to question the certainty of investment in Queensland, the viability of this area and it questions the global brand of Queensland as well,” he said. “This will have a ripple effect far and wide. This would have been a game changer.”
Ms Palaszczuk said: “There will now be a master plan for The Spit and, of course, that does not stop development in terms of up to three storeys high,” she said. “This area is probably equivalent to what Central Park is to New York. A lot of people have come up to me … and thanked my Government for that decision. My Government is very open to working with business to get jobs in Queensland.”
Residents had come out in favour of the development. Indeed consultation commissioned by the Government found 54 per cent of residents were in favour of the ASF project with 42 per cent against it.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said: “There is a risk of damage to our reputation for investment.”