- The LNP will open up expressions of interest for up to two regional casino licences within the first 100 days of winning office
- One casino licence will be reserved exclusively for Central and North Queensland
- The LNP’s Integrated Resort Developments policy will build a better tourism industry and create thousands of construction and tourism jobs
The Liberal National Party will call for registrations of interest for up to two regional casino licences within the first 100 days of winning office to attract jobs and investment into regional communities neglected under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
LNP Deputy Leader and State Development Minister Deb Frecklington said the Regional Integrated Resort Development started under the LNP had hopelessly stalled under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
She said the registration of interest process would be the first step to a potential expressions of interest stage and request for detailed proposal stage with construction starting within 18 months of contractual close.
“Queensland is stagnating, the community is crying out for leadership and we have a government stuck in neutral,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Developers are extremely interested in building a world-class Integrated Resort Development (IRD) in Regional Queensland but Labor won’t give them a chance.
“Queensland is missing out on billions of dollars of investment and thousands of job opportunities because Labor can’t make a decision.”
Ms Frecklington, announcing the policy in Yeppoon today, said one of the two casino licences would be reserved exclusively for Central and North Queensland if the LNP was successful at the next state election.
“Unfortunately for Central Queensland, and especially Rockhampton, Labor hasn’t bothered to do anything about a casino licence for Regional Queensland despite saying on March 16, 2016 it would.
“Labor’s criteria has stifled the development of an IRD in Regional Queensland because of the requirement the regional casino be located within 70km of a major population centre with a catchment of at least 150,000 people.
“A Tim Nicholls-led LNP government would drop Labor’s unfair criteria surrounding minimum population and proximity to an international airport.
Ms Frecklington said Labor’s Keppel MP Brittany Lauga had continually flip-flopped in her support of developing Great Keppel Island.
She said Great Keppel Island would be excluded from gaining a casino licence under Labor’s current plan and selection criteria.
“Ms Lauga doesn’t know whether she is coming or going on this issue, but one thing is for sure she has completely failed her community,” she said.
“The day before the 2015 election she said she supported the development of Great Keppel Island, then less than two months later in State Parliament voted against a casino licence for Great Keppel Island.
“Where does Brittany Lauga stand on this? Or was she elected on a con?”
Ms Frecklington said the LNP’s criteria for a regional IRD proposal is it must enhance the state’s tourism industry and make Queensland attractive to overseas investors.
“The LNP’s Integrated Resorts Developments policy for Regional Queensland will build a better tourism industry and create thousands of construction and tourism jobs,” she said.
“It will provide significant economic benefits to Regional Queensland including jobs and opportunities for local businesses during construction and operations.
“Labor’s softly, softly approach is failing Queenslanders – doing nothing is not working.
“Instead of leading the way in job creation and job security, we are falling behind the other states under Annastacia Palaszczuk’s watch.”