Hong Kong firms bag mega gaming and resort project in Australia

Hong Kong firms bag mega gaming and resort project in Australia

A group formed by mid-sized developer Far East Consortium International (0035), conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprise and Sydney-based casino operator Echo Entertainment Group has won a bid to develop a massive gaming-cum-resort project in Brisbane, Australia, with investment expected to top US$1.5 billion (HK$11.7 billion).

Queensland state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced yesterday evening that it will be up to the trinity, named Destination Brisbane, to redevelop Brisbane’s Queens Wharf precinct into a 9.4-hectare integrated resort.

It will include a casino, four five- to six-star hotels, office buildings and shopping malls, as well as residential apartments.

Far East Consortium said it hopes to reap recurring income from the completed project.

Far East and Chow Tai Fook will each contribute 25 percent of the investment and mainly undertake the residential developments.

Echo will take up the remaining 50 percent and operate the gambling house. But work is not expected to start until 2017, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

In a tender submitted in October, the consortium trumped a competing consortium formed by Shanghai Greenland Group and Australian tycoon James Packer’s Crown Resorts to develop the Brisbane site.

China Eastern Airlines (0670) chairman Liu Shao- yong said earlier that the airline would give priority to Brisbane as a destination for potential direct flight service with Shanghai if the Greenland-Crown duo were awarded the bid.

But the state favored the Far East-Chow Tai Fook- Echo consortium for a design of substantial public space in their proposal.

Also “The consortium was able to demonstrate to government that they are ready to proceed. We needed to have that financial security,” Palaszczuk said.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project would be “transformational for Brisbane.”


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