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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    Gold Coast gets casino resort certainty while Cairns waits for answers

    "The last thing Cairns needs now is another casino."

    That's how Michael Healy responded when TropicNow asked if the Palaszczuk Government should quarantine a casino licence for Cairns.

    Mr Healy is the Labor Party candidate hoping to become the city's voice in state parliament at the next state election.

    He said the city's population isn't big enough to support a second casino development.

    His declaration comes as the government continues to keep Cairns residents in the dark by refusing to answer questions about possible plans to quarantine a casino licence for the city.

    While Cairns is seeking answers and certainty, the government yesterday provided clarity to residents of the Gold Coast by rejecting plans by Chinese consortium ASF for a multi-billion dollar integrated resort and casino at The Spit at Southport.

    Unlike the unresolved casino licensing issue in Cairns, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday also confirmed the casino licence would remain on the Gold Coast, even though the ASF-led resort proposal was not going ahead.

    TropicNow is yet to receive a response from the government after submitting questions to Jan Martin, media advisor for State Development Minister Anthony Lynham, on 24 July 2017.

    When TropicNow again contacted Mr Lynham's office this morning, Ms Martin said the Minister would not make any new statements about a casino licence for the Tropical North.

    With confirmation a casino licence is quarantined for the Gold Coast, Cairns must battle it out with other regional areas that have expressed an interest in a casino development, including Great Keppel Island and Toowoomba.

    The Palaszczuk Government previously rejected calls for a casino licence to be allocated specifically for Cairns, saying in April last year it was likely to open up the process for all regional Queensland centres.

    Questions remain about the potential for a casino licence in Cairns and the timing of the EOI process to find a proponent to build an integrated resort.

    TropicNow understands a new proponent is waiting for clarity on a casino licence and details of the government's EIO process before deciding whether to progress plans to build an integrated resorts development on the Northern Beaches.

    Given our region’s international airport and tourism infrastructure, city and business leaders in TNQ believe the licence should be quarantined for Cairns.