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Casino aspect sets back Tower Holdings' plans 12 months

Fisherman Bay Hotel
Fisherman Bay Hotel

THE odds for an international standard casino on Great Keppel Island shortened yesterday.

Tower Holdings' Great Keppel Island redevelopment was yesterday named as one of six expressions of interest for two new integrated resort developments with gaming licences in regional Queensland.

CEO Terry Agnew said the casino aspect had set plans back 12 months but he was confident Great Keppel Island would secure one of the licenses.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney announced the short-list for three proposed integrated resorts, one at Queens Wharf in Brisbane and two in regional Queensland.

On the same day, Tower Holdings also named Greg Norman as the Great Keppel Island project's official ambassador.

Norman was in Brisbane yesterday with Mr Agnew to announce a global campaign looking for investors for their $600 million redevelopment.

Along with Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises, Tower Holdings engaged global agents Jones Lang LaSalle to source international investors and investment bank, Moelis and Company as lead financial advisor.

Mr Agnew said he anticipated it would take four to six months to finalise investment with work on the resort starting in the second half of next year, whether or not a casino license is granted.

Other locations being considered along with Tower Holdings proposal are at Yorkey's Knob, north of Cairns, Airlie Beach, the Proserpine area and the Gold Coast.

Mr Seeney said it was important to understand the government was looking for world-class proposals that meet the state's objectives and requirements for Integrated Resort Developments.

"These resorts will be drawcards for both international and domestic visitors and provide employment for thousands of Queenslanders," he said.

"Despite their enthusiasm, not all of the proponents listed today will receive a licence."

The list of development consortia will be further refined later this year when the process enters the Request for Detailed Proposals stage.

A decision on the licences is expected by mid-2015.

Topics:  casino great keppel island tower holdings



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