Plans for a global tourism hub here on the Gold Coast are no more, with the State Government today confirming they have ended negotiations with The Star Entertainment Group.
State Development Minister Kate Jones made the announcement from the Gold Coast this morning, revealing the two parties had come to a “mutual agreement” to conclude their lengthy discussions.
“Through the exclusive negotiation process for a Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub we worked really hard to extract value from The Star, but the deal on the table did not stack up for taxpayers,” she said.
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In October last year, The Star offered to commit to the rest of its $2 billion Gold Coast masterplan, which included a $100 million spend to upgrade and expand the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, in exchange for casino exclusivity.
But after months of talks, the State Government today confirmed they could not agree to The Star being the city’s only casino for at least the next 30 years.
“We were not able to reach consensus around the terms for long-term casino licence exclusivity,” Ms Jones said.
“Global market conditions are clearly impacting investment at present and I can confirm that this government has no intention of reviving the market process for a new integrated resort – including a second casino – on the Gold Coast.”
The Star Entertainment Group Chairman John O’Neill AO said the company and its partners have already committed around $4.5 billion to reinvigorate tourism in South East Queensland.
“Investments in Queen’s Wharf Brisbane alongside those on the Gold Coast where we’ve refurbished The Star Grand hotel, opened The Darling hotel and have the Dorsett hotel and apartments tower under construction are proof of our commitment to creating world-class tourism and entertainment destinations that will bring more than a million additional visitors to Queensland every year,” Mr O’Neill said.
“We have confidence in the future of tourism and, under the right conditions, will continue to invest through our $2 billion-plus Gold Coast masterplan that will help government deliver further significant economic benefits for Queensland including thousands of jobs.”
Ms Jones said the Palaszczuk Government would also continue to work with City of Gold Coast and local businesses to support tourism investment in the city.