Construction work on the A$3-billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort began officially on Thursday when Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turned the first sod. The property, which will feature hotels, a casino as well as multiple food and beverage and entertainment facilities, is expected to be completed in 2022.
Construction begins over a year after project developers commenced demolition work at the site where the resort is set to be built. The old Executive Building of the Queensland government was among the structures to be knocked down to make room for the new property.
Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group and its partners, Hong Kong-based companies Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, won the bid for the development of a mixed-use complex in Brisbane back in the summer of 2015. The group of developers initially pitched a A$2-billion scheme, but increased their investment at a later stage.
The Star Entertainment currently operates Treasury Casino in the Queensland capital. The company plans to relocate its existing gambling venue within the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane complex, once it is completed and operational.
Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will occupy a large site in the heart of Brisbane’s Central Business District. As mentioned above, the complex will feature hotels, apartment buildings, a casino, food and beverage facilities, shopping areas, and multiple attractions. A 100-meter high sky deck will connect some of the towers that would be built as part of the complex. Developers are also planning to build a bridge that would connect the two banks of the Brisbane River.
The major project comes as part of the government to promote Queensland as a tourism-oriented state. According to recent comments by Premier Palaszczuk, the state’s tourism industry is worth A$25 billion and supports more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is expected to generate 2,000 jobs during construction and 8,000 jobs once completed and fully operational. Premier Palaszczuk told media on Thursday that the complex would create a “jobs bonanza” and that, together with the second airport runaway, would extend opportunities for further growth in the number of tourists from other states as well as international visitors.
Stars Entertainment and TAFE Queensland, the state’s technical and further education training body, have already established the Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School to train staff for the new resort.
The state could see more mixed-use resorts open doors in the next few years as part of its strategy to boost tourism. The Queensland government has recently introduced the Global Tourism Hub concept that aims to deliver “world-class tourism infrastructure” and to optimize regional jobs and new investment. The concept could be implemented in Cairns where public consultation is under way on whether a Global Casino Hub with accommodation, dining, entertainment, and gaming facilities should be built on the city’s waterfront.