Hong Kong Billionaire wants to build $4.2b Casino in Australia

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Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung is committed to building a massive AU$4.2 billion (US$3.75 billion) resort in the Australian state of Queensland. The only question that remains now is if Queensland government committees approve of the matter.

Fung’s proposal calls for the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort & Casino to be built on an 848-acre plot of rural land north of Cairns. Once completed, the Barrier Reef Resort would feature nine luxury hotels, 1,200 rooms, 135 villas, a golf course, a 25,000-square-foot stadium and a giant aquarium.

The resort has been given approval as a “coordinated project,” which is good news for Fung. However, it must still pass government, environmental and social tests before being given ultimate approval.

King of the Knob community elected leader Jim Cadman is one person who doesn’t think the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort & Casino is a very good idea. He stated the following concerns, which mainly hinge on the environmental impact:

It just seems like no one’s done any homework, we’ve got beach erosion concerns, we’ve got environmental fishery concerns, we’ve got flood mitigation concerns – I think nearly every hotel and golf course in Cairns would object to having five more hotels and a golf course..It will be a very significant challenge to do a development of that scale without having impacts on the reef.

While Cadman’s concerns might be valid, there are also plenty of benefits to building this casino as well. Expected to be finished by 2018, the casino would provide an estimated 9,000 jobs during construction and another 10,000 full-time jobs workers.

Fung also discussed the tourism benefits by saying, “We want to create a new jewel in the Australian tourism crown and provide a trigger for the emergence of Cairns as a globally recognized destination. The largely undeveloped nature of Yorkeys Knob and its proximity to the Cairns airport provides an incredible opportunity to create an integrated tourism facility that puts the city on the global stage.” He added, “Aquis gives Queensland an opportunity to fend off its southern and regional competitors for the increasingly important Chinese tourism market.”

It should be known within the next few months whether Queensland will approve the casino or not.

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