Clearly I’m disappointed to hear today’s news. The people of Cairns and Far North Queensland have thrown themselves behind the Aquis proposal.
People in Far North Queenslanders are right to ask the question: has the Government done everything in its power to facilitate this application process?
Of course, I have always been of the view that it’s critical that probity processes are thorough.
But given the Deputy Premier’s penchant for media opportunities surrounding this investment opportunity, has he ensured the Government is focused on this matter, given the dire need for job-creating investment in the Far North?
My understanding of today’s announcement is that the current takeover proposal by Aquis of the Reef Casino Trust is off the table for now as the 28 November deadline will not be met.
I’m pleased to hear Mr Fung’s reassurances that the Aquis Group are still committed to major investment in the Far North.
However because of the importance of the Reef Hotel Casino takeover bid to the overall financing of the Yorkey’s Knob project, the $8 billion proposal will be reviewed, including delivery timeframes.
The Labor Opposition remains committed to working with the Aquis Group on its proposal for an integrated casino and resort as we recognise the potential impact this investment may have in terms of local job creation.
I’ll be seeking a meeting with Mr Fung to hear first-hand how today’s announcement may impact on the integrated resort proposal at Yorkey’s Knob, particularly in terms of level of investment and possible project delays.