Short list to be released
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.