After dark you can choose a lively bar, pub, nightclub or casino to enjoy a drink, taste local seafood at Complimentary shuttle from Cairns Airport to the project. Cairns ist das Tor zum tropischen Regenwald (Daintree Nationalpark), zu den Atherton Tablelands, zu Aborigines und ins Outback von liches „Reef Restoration Research Project“ – zusammen mit Neu eröffnetes Hotel und Casino in. Bei Tripadvisor auf Platz 35 von 66 Hotels in Cairns mit /5 von Reisenden an upswing, we are in the early stages of a $10 million dollar restoration project.
Cairns Casino ProjectBei Tripadvisor auf Platz 35 von 66 Hotels in Cairns mit /5 von Reisenden an upswing, we are in the early stages of a $10 million dollar restoration project. A$ billion ($ billion) casino and resort project in Australia's Cairns city, The Queensland state government said on Friday that Fung's casino proposal. Cairns casino project. Chinese tycoon plans Kapital bln casino resort un Australia | Reuters. Queensland Government Announces Significant.
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While Tony Fung acknowledges he hasn't done anything like this before, his vision is to combine Cairns' natural wonders with a man-made wonder.
Tony Fung : I have no experience in resort development, but as a businessman the family has been in business for three generations, so I've seen how things are done.
If more tourists were to be exposed to these two world heritage sites—the Daintree forest and the Great Barrier Reef—it would astound them.
You know, with all the integrated resorts that's coming up all over the world, nothing can compare with the natural resource that we have here, and then from there onward it's all manmade.
Cathy Van Extel : This will be an enormous development in an area that's been ignored by developers in the past. Crisscrossed by crocodile inhabited creeks, it's a flood plain that is regularly inundated.
Aquis has secured a five-year option to buy this land. Just how much they've agreed to pay the seven local cane farmers who own it is confidential.
The biggest landholder is year-old Frank Pappalardo who's worked the property since the 's. He gave up farming eight years ago after too many difficult years.
Frank Pappalardo : When I was working myself and the price was good, I made money. But then the price kept going down and down, and since I leased it I think I just get enough money to pay the rates.
Cathy Van Extel : When Tony Fung approached Frank Pappalardo to sell, the old cane farmer asked his grandson Frankie, a local pharmacist, whether he wanted to continue the family farming tradition.
Frank Pappalardo : So then I said, 'Frankie, your decision is more than mine. If I'm not here would you carry on the farm? Cathy Van Extel : Frank Pappalardo is one of those who thinks the Aquis resort will be a good thing for Cairns and that it'll bring the region a new era of prosperity.
But others wonder at what cost. The community is divided. A short drive east of Frank Pappalardo's farm is the Yorkeys Knob suburb, population 2, Pam Bigelow is the president of the Yorkeys Knob Residents Association, she's lived here for 22 years.
Pam Bigelow : Yorkeys Knob is a small village community on the beach, separated from the rest of Cairns by seven kilometres of road that goes through cane fields which flood in summer.
So it's quite an isolated little quiet pocket. Very strong family community, it's been a fabulous place for children, it's been safe.
It's just been a pretty idyllic lifestyle really for families. Cathy Van Extel : Pam Bigelow is also president of the Aquis Aware Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which has around members and is spearheading community opposition to the mega casino resort.
Pam Bigelow : I don't see massive casinos and family life really cohabitating particularly well.
I don't see any evidence of that anywhere that I've researched, quite the opposite. It is like Las Vegas coming to Cairns.
It is a massive, massive development. People are confused, they're a little bit afraid, and those that really want it are quite aggressive about that line and don't want to hear or allow any discussion about the pros and cons.
Cathy Van Extel : As you drive out of Yorkeys Knob, the Aquis resort site extends for six kilometres on both sides of the road.
Pam Bigelow : It's started already. That last house back there is it, so it's right along here. These houses will all look at it. Apparently it's going to be screened by trees but I don't know about the light and the 20 storeys will be well above the treeline.
So you keep going and it keeps going. Cathy Van Extel : Currently the only development on that road is a service station that sits up high on a manmade hill.
Pam Bigelow says this road, which is the only way into and out of Yorkeys Knob, is cut off each year by flooding of the Barron River. Pam Bigelow : It's really doing something that no-one who decided to live here, however many years ago, ever thought could happen.
To have something built on that area was considered impossible because it is the Barron River delta and it floods really, really reliably and regularly.
It's a very desirable area. It's, you know, great housing potential but it's not suitable. Displacing that land and building it up however causes issues with the movement of water and flooding.
So you put high places where it currently goes and you end up with water going to others. Cathy Van Extel : To the contrary, the Fungs say massive earthworks will reshape the landscape and flood-proof the resort, without creating problems for surrounding areas.
Justin Fung says the resort has been specifically designed to mitigate the flood risks. Justin Fung : We came up with a very creative solution along with architects and engineers to make sure that not only did we not negatively impact our neighbours but we're actually going to have a positive effect on the flooding issues in the surrounding areas, and if you look at the EIS it's a very comprehensively addressed issue.
Cathy Van Extel : That 'creative solution' contained in the Environmental Impact Statement is to build the resort island seven and a half metres above sea level, while the 33 hectare artificial lake and channels in the surrounding land are also flood mitigation measures.
But one of the nation's leading cyclone experts Jon Nott, a Professor of Geosciences at the nearby James Cook University, says the resort site is dangerous.
Jon Nott : It's on the flood plain of the Barron River. It's in an exceptionally storm surge-prone area. We've got tropical cyclones and storm surge and river flooding in a wet tropical environment.
And you couldn't put it in a more dangerous or vulnerable location than they are putting it. Cathy Van Extel : Professor Nott says the Environmental Impact Statement for the Aquis development is missing critical information on flood mitigation.
Jon Nott : All the workings-out behind the conclusions were not provided, so that makes it very, very difficult for anybody with any level of expertise in these areas to be able to assess the veracity of the conclusions and the quality of the maps etcetera that were produced in that EIS.
Cathy Van Extel : The EIS acknowledges climate change, and that's why the resort's island is seven and a half metres high.
Jon Nott says that area hasn't experienced major inundation since the s, but the Cairns region has entered a climate phase that could see a return of big floods.
Jon Nott : With global climate change and the increased intensity of rainfall events and flooding events we can expect to see much bigger floods.
There's also natural climate variations which we are now just entering into a phase which makes it much more conducive to get big floodings over the next few decades.
And also we really are long overdue for a major cyclone in Cairns. So if, for example, a cyclone Yasi came through, instead this time it crossed just to the north of Cairns, somewhere between Cairns and Port Douglas, this resort would be impacted by waves and storm surge washing through there.
It can have major impacts to buildings, it can put people in danger, all of those issues that are associated with these hazards.
Cathy Van Extel : The mountains of the Barron Gorge National Park behind the Yorkeys Knob resort site are a playground for tourists.
There's the famous Skyrail to the mountain village of Kuranda, as well as more active adventures like white water rafting on the Barron River, which cuts its way through the mountains down to the Coral Sea just past the Aquis site.
In the upper reaches of the Barron River, a group of tourists is being given a safety briefing for a rafting trip through the sheer cliffs of Barron Gorge.
Raging Thunder director Fred Arial is one of the pioneers of Cairns adventure tourism. He's experienced the highs of the '90s Japanese boom to the lows of the Asian financial crisis and the GFC, and the negative impact of the high Australian dollar.
He says tourists are starting to return but many businesses are still trying to recover. Fred Arial : It has been devastating and everybody's downsized.
You'd have to take two steps back to go one forward. We've all done that. It's had a clean-out, we've seen it before. It was as bad as this, if not worse, in the pilots' strike in the late '80s.
There will be other hiccups in the future but for now the future looks very bright. Cathy Van Extel : Part of that bright future is the expectation that the Aquis resort will go ahead.
Fred Arial : It's the single best news we've ever had since the opening of the Cairns International Airport and we're delighted as a group of people here in Cairns, not just tourism.
The group of business people and most of the private residents are in favour of this project and it's a great thing.
Any single investment of that magnitude is a good thing for this town. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia and certainly in Queensland, and anything that diminishes that has got to be great.
Anything that brings in additional people in the town. Cathy Van Extel : The Aquis vision is built around big forecast growth in the number of Chinese tourists to Australia.
Fred Arial is seeing more on his tours and he says the Chinese are increasingly adventurous:. Fred Arial : They don't just all eat at Chinese restaurants.
They don't just do a simple little boat tour out to the reef. As we're witnessing right now, they're getting into the hard-core adventure tourism and self-drive market.
It surprised me but you get a group of them together and they'll hire a vehicle here in Cairns, usually a Bongo van, and travel south from here.
So this is a gateway to the Asian market. It's great. The Chinese are fantastic spenders too. They've got an eye for a dollar, they know what a bargain is a bargain but they do spend.
Cathy Van Extel : The suburb of Yorkeys Knob is named after a metre high lush tropical headland at the edge of the Coral Sea, a haven to birds and expensive homes.
When the Aquis plans were unveiled last year, the local business group renamed itself the Yorkeys Knob Community Progress Association to get behind the project.
It's a rival to Pam Bigelow's Residents Association. The president is real estate agent Rard Changizi. Rard Changizi : I think it's a fantastic opportunity for Queensland and for Australia.
For Yorkeys Knob in particular it's brilliant. I don't see any negatives in it at all. Cathy Van Extel : He believes the majority of people in Yorkeys support Aquis going ahead because the community stands to reap huge benefits.
Rard Changizi : In opportunities to grow businesses, in opportunities of increases in values in their properties, but more so it allows us to build an economy which is different to what we have at this moment in time in that we will have a supporting industry that supports Aquis from external.
Cathy Van Extel : In fact, Rard Changizi sees the Yorkeys Knob suburb itself becoming a tourism destination.
Rard Changizi : I think eventually what you'll find is the visitors will want to see outside of the resort itself and they will come and travel, and being that we are the closest place to the resort they will come to us first.
Cathy Van Extel : At the foot of the Yorkeys Knob headland is the Half Moon Bay Marina where Aquis developer Tony Fung moors his luxury boat at times.
It's also where tour operator Ross Miller keeps his metre luxury motor yacht Aroona. Ross Miller : We do day-trips and we do week-long trips.
It holds up to nine guests, and five crew. I can take you down and have a look if you want. Come on down the stairs. Cathy Van Extel : Ross Miller runs private reef charters for high end tourists, mostly from the US and Europe but he's getting more Chinese customers.
He has mixed feelings about the Aquis development. Ross Miller : I'm sure the resort will boost our business.
I'm sure something like Aroona will certainly benefit. And Yorkeys is quite a sleepy quiet town. It's a little bit daunting, the size of the resort, that's for sure, and a little concern of some of the infrastructure and other things.
There's certainly a lot of worry about the town, you know, can Cairns handle something of this size. What happens to our water rates, what happens to the supply of water?
Can we supply enough water to the numbers they're talking about? And then you go, well, what about the highways? You know, you try and drive through the traffic now in the mornings to Cairns and it's bumper to bumper.
So what's in place in planning and going to happen to make sure that things will flow smoothly with this many people coming into Cairns? Source: QLD Gov.
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the next step was for the government to begin an interactive tender process with the three shortlisted companies.
The process will allow an opportunity for the proponents to demonstrate their vision and innovation in developing an iconic proposal for this under-utilised but important part of the Cairns CBD.
This will be a landmark international development. Member for Cairns Michael Healy said a Global Tourism Hub would be a game-chancer for Tropical North Queensland.
The shortlisted companies will be required to lodge fully-developed proposals with the government by July A formal announcement regarding the successful developer and their development scheme is not expected until late or early Click here to view the QLD Government website with further information.
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Search form Search. Hard Rock, Reef Casino and Star Entertainment Group to tender for Cairns Global Tourism Hub development. Stage 1 includes temporary construction jobs and 11, permanent jobs.
Stage 2 includes another construction jobs, plus an added permanent jobs. Critics wondered why anyone would spend so much money to draw people to a remote part of Queensland.
By the middle of , Tony Fong scaled down his ambitions. He canceled plans for the casino in order to expedite the construction process. Most expect the casino to return in a later stage.
The Tropical North State Development Area SDA throws money at the problem in the hopes it draws investors.
In the long run, the casino is the key factor in the Aquis Resort. People who come for the Great Barrier Reef will come anyway.
Retail shopping, nightclubs, and restaurants are not enough to draw people to northeast Australia. A gambling venue is a must, to act as a centerpiece for all the other crowd pleasers.
Home News. James Gompertz April 22, Updated On: January 6, Share.