Cairns council will spend $524k on outside help to decide if Aquis casino can go ahead at Yorkeys Knob

CAIRNS Regional Council will spend $524,000 on outside help to decide whether the Aquis resort at Yorkeys Knob will go ahead.
The council will have the final say on Hong Kong-based developer Tony Fung’s plan to rezone 343ha of land at Yorkeys Knob to make way for the $4.2 billion mega resort (pictured).
But the council has recruited consultants APP to help to make its decision, with councillors voting unanimously in August to put a call for tenders to help assess the proposed development.
APP, which has provided its expertise on dozens of projects including the redevelopment of Cairns Hospital and Sydney’s International Airport, has been chosen to provide the council’s feedback to the State Government on the environmental impact statement.
The company will also assess the development application when it is submitted to the council for approval.
The State Government earlier this month released the final terms of reference for the EIS for the proposed resort.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney yesterday told Parliament casino resort developments were key to attracting investors and tourists to Queensland.
«I would suggest that nowhere in the world is better placed to take advantage of that emerging tourism market than North Queensland,» he said.
«The Great Barrier Reef, the rainforest, the climate and all the things that have attracted people to North Queensland for many years remain a major part of the attraction.
«If they can be complemented with an integrated casino-resort type development, such as has been so successful in other parts of the world, North Queensland can become one of the great tourist destinations of the world.»
Barron River MP Michael Trout said the Government’s decision to consider new licences outside of Brisbane was good news for the region.
«This gives Aquis the ability to bid for this licence. We now have the legislation that we can have this sort of investment come to Queensland.»
But CRC councillor Richie Bates called on the State Government to start investing in the infrastructure and services needed for the region to support the expected population boom if the project goes ahead.

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