The highly controversial Crown Sydney Hotel Resort has moved on to the second stage of government consideration. According to New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell, this progression in planning does ‘not necessarily guarantee a gaming license’, but simply offers the highly controversial proposal further room for assessment and consideration.
“The proposal has undergone an initial assessment – signed off by the heads of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Treasury – which concluded it should now be subject to a rigorous financial appraisal to see if it is in the state’s best interests,” says O’Farrell.
Though the Premier says the project is not a done deal, information has been released regarding an international architectural competition to select a designer for the major development, which is to be built in Barangaroo South. The Premier believes the development could bring $1 billion worth of investment into the state while generating more than 1,200 jobs.
“As Sydney’s first six-star hotel, it would be a world-class tourist facility which would help us compete with other global destinations particularly in the lucrative and booming Asian tourism market,” says O’Farrell.
That said, the state government has explicitly prohibited the inclusion of poker machines in the structure, with the development’s casino elements still a cause of great contention with the public and the government.
According to the unsolicited proposal lodged by Crown, the development would not only be designed to fit into the broader context of the Barangaroo South area, but would stand as an example of world-class industry efforts, offering to ‘utilise world’s best practice design in order to create an iconic addition to Sydney Harbour.’
“The design of the hotel resort will be sympathetic to the surrounding improvements at Barangaroo South and Barangaroo Central and will create a unique opportunity for tourists to experience the proposed cultural amenities and parklands that are an integral part of Barangaroo,” the proposal reads. “Crown will be working with some of the world’s best resort and hospitality designers and will consult with an expert advisory panel to ensure that the Crown Sydney Resort is an iconic addition to Barangaroo and Sydney Harbour.”
While a petition has been lodged in hopes of halting the development of another casino in the landmark urban planning development, developer James Packer has confirmed that in order to make the project viable VIP gaming areas would be a necessity.
The major development will now have to face further governmental assessments and approvals before moving forward.