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Green light for Crown’s Sydney casino

Crown Sydney EDITED

Crown Resorts Limited has entered into agreements with the New South Wales Government for the development of a ‘six-star’ luxury hotel resort at Barangaroo South in Sydney.

The agreements between Crown and the New South Wales Government represent the outcomes of Stage 3 of the Unsolicited Proposal put forward by Crown in relation to the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort.

The development of the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort is still subject to the passing of legislation to amend the Casino Control Act 1992, the issuing of a Licence by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, the granting of all necessary planning approvals and the finalisation of certain agreements with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the developer of Barangaroo South, Lend Lease.

Crown Resorts’ Chairman, James Packer said he was “humbled” that the company has “reached formal agreement with the New South Wales Government”.

“Sydney is one of the world’s great cities. It deserves one of the world’s great hotels,” he said. “I am going to do everything I can to try and make Crown Sydney the best hotel in the world.

“Crown will build a landmark for Sydney, an architectural icon to rival some of world’s best buildings.

“We believe, with our internationally-renowned architects, Wilkinson Eyre, that we can create a hotel resort that will feature on postcards and in travel magazines globally.

“We believe that Crown Sydney will help attract Asian high net worth travellers to Sydney, in particular from China, creating economic growth, extra taxes and over 1,200 jobs for the people of New South Wales.”

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell welcomed the news and said the binding agreement includes the conditions outlined previously, such as no low limit bets on table games, no poker machines, VIP gaming only, a non-rebate gaming tax rate of 29%, and guarantees of total licence fee and gaming tax payments of at least AUD$1 billion over the first 15 years of full operation.

O’Farrell said the NSW Government will introduce legislation into Parliament this week to enable approval of the new restricted gaming facility at Barangaroo.

He said statutory approvals are still needed from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and planning consent for construction of the hotel resort, which will include the “usual opportunity for public consultation”.

O’Farrell said the NSW Government has accepted this unsolicited proposal because “the independent assessment committee found a competitive casino market would deliver increased tourism and broader economic benefits for NSW”.

The independent assessment committee found the Crown project would result in an estimated 1,250 additional jobs after construction, increased international tourism, and an increase in Gross State Product of AUD$442 million per annum by 2025.

O’Farrell said the committee found Sydney was falling short of its potential share of the growing international gaming and tourism market and has underperformed compared with Melbourne.

Crown, supported by its employment and training partners, United Voice Union (NSW Branch), Penrith Panthers Group and the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE), has pledged to establish two colleges to train the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort workforce: a main training college at the soon to be built Penrith Panthers Community Centre in Penrith; and a specialist Indigenous training college at the NCIE’s premises in Redfern.

“Around 15,000 people work at Crown’s Australian resorts and we have an outstanding employment record, with Crown Melbourne recently winning the Victorian Employer of the year for 2013.

“Our Indigenous employment programs are recognised as being some of the most effective in the country.

“With our project partners, we will work to improve the lives of many job seekers providing them with the support and training they need to get a long term career in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“When it’s completed, we believe that Crown Sydney will be a globally recognised hotel resort that Sydneysiders and all Australians will be very proud of,” Packer said.

He said it was envisaged that the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort, including the VIP gaming facility, would be operational from November 2019.

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) says Crown Sydney hotel complex at Barangaroo will attract visitors to Sydney, generate expenditure, and support jobs in tourism and hospitality.

TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the decision to approve the project would be a boon for Sydney tourism and to state coffers.

“Tourism is an extremely competitive industry and new products and experiences are vital to ensuring Sydney and Australia keep pace with our rivals,” Morrison said.

“Crown Sydney will add another world-class tourism offering to Sydney, with an iconic hotel in a spectacular location.

“It will be a beacon for high-spending visitors from across Australia and around the world, especially from Asia, generating valuable export income.

“The number of Chinese people travelling internationally is expected to exceed 100 million a year in 2015 and facilities like Crown Sydney will attract wealthy visitors who want to stay in a luxury hotel and enjoy exclusive gaming facilities.

“Global tourism spending is forecast to grow 60 per cent to around $11 trillion dollars a year by 2023 and Australia needs outstanding tourism accommodation and experiences to ensure we maximise our share of that expenditure.

“Tourism is an economic development strategy for Australia and has been identified as a super-growth industry that can help to create economic prosperity and provide jobs and business opportunities as the mining investment boom declines.

“Investments like Crown Sydney will help us do just that.

“As well as broadening Sydney’s tourism product offering, the Crown Sydney complex will help to activate the Barangaroo precinct and create hundreds of jobs.

“Congratulations to Crown Resorts Limited and the New South Wales government on this agreement, which is a win-win for tourism and the state,” Morrison said.

For a video fly-through of the new project, click on the YouTube image below.

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