Star engages former LNP powerbroker Santoro

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
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The Star Entertainment Group has hired former Liberal and National Party powerbroker and lobbyist Santo Santoro.

The Australian Financial Review reports that the John O’Neill-chaired company last month promised to spend millions of dollars upgrading its Gold Coast assets, including its casino at Broadbeach.

The Queensland state government is now on the Star Group’s side and turned its back on a year-long process to find an operator for a second Gold Coast casino.

More than 10 groups expressed interest in the planned Gold Coast tourism hub and a second casino, according to Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

Late last month, the government suspended its process, awaiting to hear more of the Star’s plans.

The Liberal and National Party Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington reckons that’s “policy by press release”, and has demanded to know what “backroom deals” the government has been involved in.

Which must be concerning for The Star, understandably keen to defend its monopoly in Queensland.

The Star has relied on Queensland Labor since 2016 to do its lobbying, through Damian Power’s Govstrat group

Employing Santoro Consulting and some Liberal and National Party firepower could be viewed as prudent, according to Myriam Robin.

Queen’s Wharf design recognised with award

The architects behind the design of Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf have been recognised for their cutting edge design.

Architecture and Design reports that PDF, now known as DBM Vircon, has been awarded a 2019 buildingSMART International Award in the design category for its work in Queensland.

The award recognises the exemplary use and implementation of building information modelling.

More than 100 projects were submitted for initial review, with the other finalists in the design category including the China Railway Design Corporation for the Jingxiong High Speed Railway and DEUBIM GmhB for FMZ Leinefelde.

Expected to open in 2022, Queen’s Wharf is expected to be a world-class integrated resort development.

The Destination Brisbane Consortium is delivering the $3.6 billion development, which will cover more than 26 hectares across land and water – equivalent to 10 per cent of Brisbane’s CBD.

The development includes 50 new bars, cafes and restaurants, 2,000 apartments across three residential towers and more than 1,100 hotel rooms operating under four hotel brands, as well as a casino.

There is significant public space integrated into the design of the development, with the equivalent of 12 football fields utilised.

This public space will help to accommodate the additional 1.39 million visitors expected in Brisbane as a direct consequence of the project.

The development has already achieved a 6-star Green Star Communities rating.

In developing the project, 16 different pieces of software were utilised by 39 contributing organises, with 215 individual models processed weekly.

Multiplex gets Queen’s Wharf contract

Construction giant Multiplex was awarded the Queen’s Wharf construction contract, estimated to be worth up to $1.5 billion.

The Urban Developer reported in June that competition for the “city shaping” Queen’s Wharf project had come down to two contractors: Multiplex and Hutchinson Builders.

Multiplex will kick off construction by mid-year.

The lump sum contract is for the development of the integrated resort component of Queen’s Wharf, which includes five levels of basement car park, the tower structures, the sky deck and the façade of the main integrated resort.

At least 60 per cent of the project cost will be executed under the construction contract.

In its half yearly results, Star Entertainment Group said it was targeting a total $2.4 billion project cost.

“It’s a massive contract that, in total, will include approximately 370,000sqm of floor area and 105,000sqm of energy efficient glazed façade,” Destination Brisbane Consortium project director Simon Crooks said.

The project is being developed by the Destination Brisbane Consortium, a joint venture led by casino giant Star Entertainment Group, with Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.

Star holds a 50 per cent equity share in the project, while its Hong Kong-based partners each hold a 25 per cent interest.

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