The Queensland government has rejected plans to build a $3bn casino on the Gold Coast’s Southport Spit.
The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, says community desire to preserve the parkland site for future generations and transport issues associated with the development had driven the Labor government to reject the plan.
“This is a unique site … the equivalent to what Central Park is to New York,” Palaszczuk told reporters. “It should be preserved for generations.”
The premier says Chinese-backed ASF’s proposal, which included the construction of five high-rise towers, would have meant increased rates and taxes for locals to fund transport solutions. “I am not going to do that,” she said.
Instead, the government will develop a new master plan for the area.
The plan, which is expected to take 18 months to complete, will not rule out future development on the southern end of the Spit but will impose a height limit of three storeys.
State development minister Anthony Lynham says the government spent $4m on the community consultation process, but believed the expense was “worthwhile”.
The premier said the decision did not rule out a possible future integrated resort development but the deputy premier, Jackie Trad, said any future development would be limited.
“This locks in low-density, three-storey development for our future generations,” she said. “It also helps get the balance right between protecting environmental and community values and allowing appropriate commercial development.”
It is expected the master plan will take 18 months to complete.
Source: The Guardian