THE head of mega-developer Aquis has jetted into Cairns to reassure the council and the State Government the company remains committed to the $2 billion project.
Last month developer Tony Fung announced he would abandon
plans to build an $8 billion casino precinct on the proposed Yorkeys Knob
site. Instead, Aquis plans to build a $2 billion hotel and residential project.
Mr Fung’s son Justin, who is the chief executive of Aquis,
flew into Cairns on Wednesday to meet Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, State Treasurer
Curtis Pitt and reportedly up to 20 public bureaucrats. Cr Manning said the
meeting had a “positive atmosphere” and said the revised project was
With the casino element removed, the decision-making process
has been streamlined, with the State Government’s Co-ordinator-General
currently assessing a change proposal with input from council.b Following the
evaluation of the change proposal Aquis will be in a position to submit a
development application to council.
Mr Pitt said the State Government was committed to helping
progress the Aquis project, as part of efforts to create local jobs and the
associated flow-on economic benefits. “The Palaszczuk Government’s focus on the
growth potential of tourism is clear with additional funding in this year’s
Budget, particularly our Connecting with Asia strategy,” the Member for
“I’m pleased that Aquis is working with the Office of the
Co-ordinator-General and Cairns Regional Council to obtain the required
development approvals to progress its revised Yorkeys Knob development. “I
acknowledge the Fung family’s commitment to Tropical North Queensland and thank
them for their commitment to a Yorkeys Knob project as part of their overall
strategic investment plans for Australia.”
An Aquis spokesman said the company was focused on obtaining
the relevant land use approvals for the project. “All parties are working
together to deliver the best possible outcome for Cairns,” the spokesman said.