ASF SAYS IT WAS NOT CONSULTED ON SHOCK DECISION TO SCUPPER ITS GOLD COAST CASINO PROJECT

Written on the 3 August 2017 by Ben Hall

ASF SAYS IT WAS NOT CONSULTED ON SHOCK DECISION TO SCUPPER ITS GOLD COAST CASINO PROJECT

THE company behind the planned new Gold Coast Casino and resort complex has hit out at the Queensland Government's shock decision to terminate the contract and is looking at options to find 'a suitable and equitable solution to the matter'.

ASF, a Chinese-backed consortium which is ASX listed (ASX: AFA), has spent an estimated $30 million over four years of planning and holding public consulations on the proposed development on the Spit.

"(This decision) is unfathomable and it has sent shockwaves throughout the business community both onshore and offshore," ASF Consortium director Louis Chien told ABC radio. 

The company says it was given no notice that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would scuttle the $3 billion waterfront development for the Gold Coast's second casino and was not consulted on the issue, hearing about the decision just one hour before the announcement.

"We literally heard about it one hour before the announcement was made," said Chien.

"The people of the state, the majority would like for the government to explain its true intention to shut down $3 billion of investment injected into the local economy and 13,000 jobs that is not going to happen."

"Over the coming days ASF will undertake appropriate next steps in seeking a suitable and equitable conclusion to the matter," the company says in a statement to the ASX.

Under the terms of a deal signed with the Queensland Government in 2015, it is believed ASF has the rights to seek compensation for the failed development process.

The company's shares were placed in a trading halt following the announcement on Tuesday.

The Queensland Government terminated the planned multi-billion dollar resort and casino on the Gold Coast, saying that there needs to be a balance between environmental and commercial concerns.

The resort was to have been built on Crown land on the Spit at Southport with a five tower integrated complex including a casino.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the decision is based on ensuring the "best long-term solution" for the Gold Coast, and says the Government will move forward with a community-led master plan.

John-Paul Langbroek, LNP member for Surfers Paradise, says this behaviour from the State government dissuades investment in Queensland.

"They've pulled the rug out from under not just this investor but anyone who might be considering investing in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Queensland. Because investors who spends this kind of money need have have clear guidelines of what they can and can't do," says Langbroek.

ASF director Chien echoed that sentiment.

"I think with the eyes of the world watching this high-profile project the owners are all watching from China, US and to places in Europe," said Chien.

"Under the current political climate, I'm not sure if there's any steps taken forward in terms of investor confidence here."

At the time of writing ASF (ASX: AFA) are still in a trading halt.

Business News Australia

 
Author: Ben Hall

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