Short list to be re­leased

The Weekend Post - - News -

The fi­nal short list of pro­po­nents is ex­pected to be an­nounced at the end of next month.

It is un­der­stood the num­ber of in­ter­ested par­ties is still more than 10, in­clud­ing strong in­ter­est from in­ter­na­tional casino op­er­a­tors as well as a lo­cal con­sor­tium in­volv­ing the city’s Reef Ho­tel Casino own­ers. It is be­lieved sev­eral have vis­ited Cairns and in­spected the site.

Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones is pleased with progress.

“David Ed­wards is spend­ing a con­sid­er­able amount of time in Trop­i­cal North Queens­land en­gag­ing with stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” she said.

“It’s im­por­tant that we get the bal­ance right. That’s why we’re do­ing the hard yards now to make sure that, what­ever we pro­vide in Cairns, de­liv­ers the best pos­si­ble re­turn for lo­cals in years to come.”

Mr Ed­wards will pro­vide an up­date at an Ad­vance Cairns break­fast on June 5.

Res­i­dents have lodged more than 600 sub­mis­sions as part of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

Late this year or early next year, short-listed pro­po­nents will be in­vited to lodge pro­pos­als for the gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse and eval­u­a­tion.

In the first half of next year, the pre­ferred pro­po­nent will be an­nounced and trans­ac­tion doc­u­ments signed. By mid to late 2020 con­struc­tion is ex­pected to start.

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