Echo Entertainment succeeds in Brisbane casino bid

By Tom Lewis
A consortium led by Australian operator Echo Entertainment has won the right to begin work on a AUD$2bn casino project in Brisbane, Queensland.

The consortium saw off rival interest in the project from James Packer’s Crown Resorts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk referenced the Echo bid’s readiness to begin immediately and strong use of available public space as she announced the operator as the state government’s choice on 20 July.

Palaszczuk hopes the proposal will stimulate economic growth in the region, contributing “3,000 jobs during construction and 8,000 ongoing jobs”.

The Queens Wharf development will become the second casino in Brisbane’s central business district, with the licence for the casino in the city’s Queensland Treasury Building also held by Echo.

As part of the Destination Brisbane consortium, Echo intends to relocate its casino to Queens Wharf, and transform the Treasury Building into a shopping centre and hotel.

Also included in the proposal are plans to construct over fifty restaurants and bars, five hotels and a riverfront cinema.

On the decision to award the licence to Echo, Palaszczuk said: “The independent panel went through a number of criteria... but one of the signature efforts was this large amount of public space that families will be able to enjoy.

“Plus the probity checks, as well as that the consortium was able to demonstrate to the government that they are ready to proceed.

“So this is a good announcement, it is fantastic news for Brisbane and I am quite sure the people of Brisbane will embrace the new Queens Wharf development.”

Queensland development minister Anthony Lynham added: “This project will be transformational for Brisbane.

“It will do what the South Bank did for Brisbane 30 years ago.”

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