Ghassan Aboud , the man behind the $370 million developments of three inner-city Cairns hotels has been given an official welcome by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Aboud, chairman and founder of Ghassan Aboud Group, flew into Canberra this week for high-level meetings with the Prime Minister and his ministerial team at Parliament House. He was joined by his Australian CEO Mark Davie and Andy Taylor, managing director of the PRIME Group.
The GA Group’s CBD projects – the dramatic redevelopments of the Bellview Hotel ($120 million), Tradewinds Esplanade ($130 million) and 163 Abbott Street ($120 million)– are set to transform the face of Cairns.
The delegation – in the capital city for two days of talks – met with Mr Turnbull and politicians including Josh Frydenberg (Minister for the Environment and Energy), Peter Dutton (Minister for Immigration), Matt Canavan (Minister for Northern Australia) to discuss the Cairns projects, as well as Mr Aboud’s future investment opportunities to create jobs and economic growth for the country.
The trip also included a briefing with Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, about the GA Group’s hotel, pastoral and tourism investment plans for Far North Queensland over the coming five years.
“THE PRIME MINISTER WAS VERY IMPRESSED”
Mr Aboud said the Prime Minster and his cohorts had made him feel “very welcome”.
“It is always good to see the government of the country you are investing in taking the time to meet with you and discuss your investment plans with such openness," he said.
“I have been welcomed with open arms and it warms my heart.
“I look forward to spending more time in Australia. It is such a happy, peaceful place.”
PRIME’s Andy Taylor said the meeting had made an impact on Mr Turnbull.
“The Prime Minister was very impressed with the emphasis Ghassan Aboud has placed on employing locally and engaging 100 per cent locally-owned project management and construction firms such as ourselves to carry out the large-scale projects,” he said.
Crystalbrook Collection’s Mark Davie noted the projects would give the Cairns economy a major boost.
“The flow-on economic impact of these three inner city hotels alone is 2,600 jobs across multiple industry sectors, and an annual $900 million economic injection according to an independent Economic Impact Statement,” he said.