‘Next step’ close on Star’s $2B project

STAR has unveiled a new vision for the Gold Coast's Sheraton Grand Mirage as State Government gives its clearest indication yet about a potential convention centre deal.

The Palaszczuk Government has been largely silent on Star Entertainment Group's offer to spend $100 million on a much-needed expansion of the city convention centre in exchange for gaming rights exclusivity on the Gold Coast.

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Star's offer also includes contractually committing to the $2 billion masterplan for its Broadbeach Island site and revamping the Sheraton plus adding a beach club to it. The only comment of significance from the Labor Government has been Tourism Minister Kate Jones' commitment to "have a look" at Star's offer.

Yesterday, asked when she would release a public feedback report covering Gold Coasters' views on a potential Global Tourism Hub development and associated second casino, she said the Government hoped to have a decision on Star's offer in coming weeks.

"The Government has decided that report is going to feed into what the next step is. The Premier and I have said from day one we will take into account the feedback of Gold Coasters.

"Because this is part of a broader process we have to go through that and when we can get Cabinet to finalise that we hope to have a decision within weeks."

Ms Jones has declined to release the GTH public report despite receiving it more than a month ago, awaiting a Cabinet review. Star's megabucks offer in exchange for negotiating exclusive casino gaming rights in the city has split city leaders with some in favour of it and others saying it is unclear if the trade off is worth it.

Meanwhile, Star has revealed what it envisions turning the Sheraton property at the Spit into under a revamp.

Star is pledging to expand the pools area, add a beach club and develop some extra low-rise luxury accommodation in keeping with height restrictions.

Star has not attached a figure to its Sheraton upgrade but its refurbishment of its Star Grand casino hotel in Broadbeach cost $75 million.

Star Entertainment Group chairman John O’Neill said work could begin immediately.
Star Entertainment Group chairman John O’Neill said work could begin immediately.

Star chairman John O'Neill has also said its $100 million convention centre expansion offer could see work begin immediately if taken up. A Star spokesman said the casino resort giant was "committed to the Gold Coast and committed to driving tourism to south east Queensland".

"Any opportunity for us to start investing in new tourism infrastructure or upgrading and expanding existing assets would be welcome. It will also provide the Gold Coast with certainty on large-scale investments, and the opportunity to start now.

"People need to understand there is a global race under way to win tourism market share and our proposal to commit to a $2 billion-plus masterplan at The Star Gold Coast would deliver, when that's completed, a $4 billion-plus tourism and entertainment destination.