Tourism may have been hammered by COVID-19 but a casino boss says the best is yet to come for southeast Queensland.
Tourism may have been hammered by COVID-19 but a casino boss says the best is yet to come for southeast Queensland.

Billion dollar project a lifeline for Queensland tourism

THE boss of casino giant Star Entertainment says tourism has been 'hammered' and 'smashed' by COVID-19 but his company is confident that 'the best is yet to come' for southeast Queensland.

Star chairman John O'Neill was speaking at a sod-turning ceremony for a new $400 million hotel and apartment tower on the Gold Coast casino site at Broadbeach.

It is part of a $5 billion spending spree in southeast Queensland by Star, also including Brisbane's Queens Wharf project.

Supplied artist impression of the main entry for the retail precinct of Queens Wharf.
Supplied artist impression of the main entry for the retail precinct of Queens Wharf.

The new 63-level tower will be the fourth hotel developed as part of the Coast casino resort, with speculation it could be a luxury W hotel.

Mr O'Neill said the tourism industry had endured 'unbelievably challenging and unprecedented times' but Star was forging ahead with billions of dollars of investment in southeast Queensland that was creating thousands of jobs.

"It certainly says we're committed to the Gold Coast and we are committed to Queensland," he said.

Star Entertainment Group Chairman, John O'Neill (left) and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) are seen at the Queens Wharf project in Brisbane. Picture: Darren England
Star Entertainment Group Chairman, John O'Neill (left) and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) are seen at the Queens Wharf project in Brisbane. Picture: Darren England

"These have been unbelievably challenging and unprecedented times but we remain confident about the future, and the tourism industry will recover.

"It's been hammered, it's been smashed but it will recover and the Gold Coast will remain Australia's tourism dynamo.

"The best is yet to come."

 

Bryce O'Connor (Head of Residential Sales) and John O'Neill, Chairman of The Star Entertainment Group. Picture: David Clark
Bryce O'Connor (Head of Residential Sales) and John O'Neill, Chairman of The Star Entertainment Group. Picture: David Clark

 

Mr O'Neill's confident sentiments were echoed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said interstate buyers were snapping up southeast Queensland properties sight unseen and moving to the region in droves.

Queensland had recorded net interstate migration of 7000 people last quarter.

"Our best days are ahead of us," she said.

Originally published as Billion dollar project a lifeline for Qld tourism


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