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Newman cost Gold Coast $5bn: developer

Mon September 24, 2012 11:32am

A DEVELOPER has blamed Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for a decision to scrap a $5 billion tourism project on the Gold Coast.

Singapore-based company Sembawang has abandoned its plan to build a 1500-room hotel and casino, plus two cruise-ship terminals at the Southport Broadwater.

Sembawang CEO Ric Grosvenor said on Monday the decision was made because Mr Newman would not allow a casino to be part of the mix.

Mr Grosvenor told ABC radio the company had always made it clear a casino was essential for the Gold Coast project's viability, and he suggested that Mr Newman was more interested in a second casino for Brisbane.

Mr Newman said last week his government would consider a casino as part of the redevelopment of the Executive Building site on George Street in Brisbane.

Mr Grosvenor said he had sought meetings with Mr Newman to discuss the Gold Coast proposal and why a casino was considered to be a critical component.

"I've been trying to get to see the premier but for some reason we were never offered an audience with him," he said.

Mr Grosvenor said Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate had been supportive of the plan.

"We were led to believe Queensland was open for business," he said.

"I did find the mayor was very accommodating but he is only tiny taters compared to the premier's power and that's where it rests.

Comment is being sought from the premier.

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