Final casino licence up for grabs
ALMOST nine months after being elected, State Development Minister Anthony Lynham has met with Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew and GKI project manager, Anthony Aiossa to discuss a casino licence for the Great Keppel Island resort.
Mr Aiossa said Thursday's meeting was very productive and a spokesman for Dr Lynham said he had listened and undertook to convey Tower Holdings' information back to his colleagues.
"We made it very, very clear that we absolutely need this licence to get started…and explained to the Minister why we can't secure funding without it," Mr Aiossa said.
"We're not particularly interested in gaming, only to secure funding. I think the Minister appreciated that.
"He has said they would take it on board…basically it's in the government's hands now."
Three casino licences were made available under the Integrated Resort Development Process.
One was issued to the Aquis project at Yorky's Beach near Cairns and another to ASF Consortium on the Gold Coast.
One licence remains that hasn't been committed under the IRD process. It is understood that Tower Holdings request for a casino licence is currently before the government.
Mr Aiossa said a significant infrastructure capital spend was needed in the first stage of the redevelopment and Tower Holdings had spent the last two years in the global marketplace trying to secure investment.
"Time and time again we've been told (by potential investors) they love the project, they think it stacks up and they'd be interested if there was a gaming licence," he said.
Our Keppel Our Future director, Karla McPhail was also at the meeting, along with Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, and the chief economist and deputy director of State Development.
Mrs McPhail described the meeting as "brilliant".
"It was very positive and I thought Anthony Lynham was extremely and genuinely interested…the whole group was," she said.
"Tower Holdings' presentation was brilliant.
"They had done a lot of work on it and really got their message across.
"The strongest message was just how committed they are to the project…it was said twice that their request for a casino licence was currently under review by the government."
Dr Lynham was unavailable last night to confirm that Tower Holdings request for a casino licence was currently before the government.