Bids in for two local casinos
THERE are two bids on the table for casinos in the Whitsunday-Mackay region, following a State Government announcement this week that the former Laguna Quays Resort was in the mix.
There are a total of three casino licenses up for grabs - one in Brisbane and two in regional Queensland.
Each of the developers has had to pay $100,000 non-refundable fees.
On Tuesday, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, officially named the parties who have now lodged expressions of interest for the two regional licenses.
Of the six bidders, one is listed as Fullshare International (Australia) Pty Ltd, located 26km south of Proserpine and another is the China Australia Entrepreneurs Association Inc (CAEAI), who are interested in Airlie Beach.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said Council had been building a relationship with the China Australia Entrepreneurs group, who she described as "very serious about investing in the Whitsunday region now".
"It is very exciting to have two submissions within our region and if either one of them were to be approved by the Queensland Government it would be a huge boost to tourism, jobs and the economy for the Whitsunday region," she said.
Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) chair Jim Elder, who has also been liaising with the CAEAI, said there had been "minimal engagement" with the other group.
"And frankly the reason for that is it doesn't sit in the Whitsunday Regional Council area - it's in the Mackay city boundary," he said.
Mr Elder was among Whitsunday business people and local residents who welcomed a CAEAI delegation from Yinchuan to Airlie Beach last week.
This particular delegation was interested in agriculture and property development opportunities and Mr Elder said "they were very happy with what they saw".
As for the CAEAI's casino bid, he said this was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Airlie".
Minister Seeney said all applicants would be reviewed and a short-list would be prepared by the middle of this year.
Those short-listed would then submit full proposals by late this year. Following final negotiations, a decision on the gaming licenses is expected by mid-2015.
Aquis at the Great Barrier Reef Pty Ltd - Yorkeys Knob, north of Cairns
China-Australia Entrepreneurs Consortium Pty Ltd - Airlie Beach
Fullshare International (Australia) Pty Ltd - 26 kilometres south of Proserpine
GKI Resort Pty Ltd - Great Keppel Island
Eastern Success Group Pty Ltd - Nerang, Gold Coast
ASF Consortium Pty Ltd - Broadwater, Gold Coast