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  • Crispin Till

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    New casino a 'deal breaker' for balance of power support

    Pauline Hanson wants the Gold Coast to miss out on a second casino licence so that Cairns and Great Keppel Island can secure the state's two available licences.

    But her One Nation Party will need to secure the balance of power in the next Queensland Parliament to force the issue.

    That eventuality is surprisingly possible, with online bookmaker Sportsbet offering short odds for a Liberal National Party-One Nation alliance in a hung parliament.

    The bookie is offering $2.10 for a hung parliament and $1.27 for an LNP-One Nation minority government coalition. In contrast, the possibility of an ALP-One Nation alliance has widened to $3.60.

    In other news from the campaign trail today:

    • LNP Candidate for Cairns Sam Marino committed $70,000 to Chinese New Year celebrations in Cairns
    • Labor's Barron River MP Craig Crawford announced a re-elected Palaszczuk government will buy Earl Hill to prevent it from being developed
    • The LNP's Barron River candidate Michael Trout pledged a $300,000 funding package for lighting upgrades at the Cairns City Lions AFL ground


    There has been hot competition to build new casinos in Queensland with Cairns and the Gold Coast in the box seat to gain the two available casino licences with the Queensland Government previously approving integrated resort developments in these regions.

    During a campaign stop in Rockhampton yesterday, Senator Hanson said the casino licence approved for the Gold Coast should go to central Queensland instead.

    "One Nation does not support another casino on the Gold Coast," she said.

    "You've got to spread it across the state and this is where it needs to be.

    "If we end up with the balance of power in Parliament, the Great Keppel Island casino development has to go ahead.

    "It is one of the deal breakers."

    Towner Holdings, the group behind the $600 million project on Great Keppel Island, has said it would be able to start construction within 12 months if a casino licence was granted.


    In announcing funding for Chinese New Year celebrations, Mr Marino praised the strong history the Chinese have with TNQ.

    "The Chinese community has a history in Cairns dating back to 1870 after the Palmer River gold rush," he said.

    "Chinese migrants have made a significant contribution to our region, and helped grow our economy through the establishment of market gardens and sugar, banana and rice plantations.

    "Today, we continue those strong connections."


    During today's Earl Hill announcement, Mr Crawford said the deal would return 53ha of land, that including popular walking tracks overlooking Trinity Beach, to public hands.

    "This is a great day and a lot of people in Trinity Beach and Trinity Park are passionate about seeing Earl Hill in public hands," he said.

    "The dollars have been sorted, the price has been sorted and we have a deal with the developers to buy this land."

    Campaigning continues as TNQ counts down to the election on November 25.