Concerns have been raised following the Queensland Government’s decision to fast-track two casino licences, which could potentially bring millions of dollars into the Queensland tourism industry and supply hundreds of jobs.
The worry is that the decision undermines the credibility of the Government’s approval process and that boxes are being ticked before they are legally allowed to be ticked. Dennis Walls from the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, said the group is concerned that the project has been given a gaming license without the necessary environment impact statement. He describes the move as “scandalous”, but Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney stands by the decision.
The $8 billion Aquis Resort in Cairns and the ASF Consortium’s $7.5 billion resort and cruise ship proposal on the Gold Coast Broadwater have been given preliminary approval for a casino license. Mr Seeney said this was required in order for the developers to continue with the other processes. Without knowing whether or not they would be granted a gaming license, the developers were reluctant to continue with their plans.
Mr Seeney said that the two developments, which are close to international airports, show great potential in attracting tourists to the two regions and providing they follow and meet all requirements, there is no reason why they couldn’t acquire a gaming license. Aquis and the ASF Consortium have been asked to submit more detailed proposals to secure the necessary environmental, planning and gaming licence approvals.
It is likely the process will be re-run further down the track to ensure they are still meeting all requirements and a timeframe will apply, reported ABCNews.