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A Casino for Sunshine Coast: Will They? Won’t They?

We might have got some of the details mixed up, or there might be a little more buzz around the more off-the-wall inclusions in the Coolum resort casino redevelopment plans, but here’s what we’ve gathered: there may be dinosaurs. There might be a full-scale replica of the Titanic. And a hovercraft. Possibly Aliens.

That last one, we made up. But the rest are all in the rumour mill that’s fed on an almost daily basis by the eccentric brilliance of Clive Palmer. We’re more interested in his plans to redevelop the Sunshine Coast resort into a top-class casino resort that we are in his plans to bring back dinosaurs or the Titanic (we’ve seen both films, and neither ended well...).

From what we’ve gathered about those casino resort development plans, there’s no shortage of ambition. All that’s missing at this stage is the approval of the Queensland Government, with whom Palmer has a fractious relationship, to say the least.

Which is a shame, because he’s planned quite a casino resort. This is a different sort of site to Crown Casino Melbourne or The Star in Sydney – or even the proposed Crown Towers redevelopment in Perth. Palmer has lots of space to play with, and it looks like he intends to make the most of it if he ever gets government approval.

The planned casino resort would be huge, with a thousand hotel rooms for guests: guests that would arrive at the resort either by monorail from Sunshine Coast Airport, or by hovercraft to the resort’s own port. Once there, they’d have the chance to enjoy the casino, of course, but there’s also a lot more on offer. 5000 seats in the convention centre, a water park and beachfront amusement park, plus an aquarium and a wildlife park, too. Total cost? AU$2.5billion.

We’re not quite sure how to take Palmer’s plans for Coolum. Some of us think he’s fantastic, others that he’s a little unhinged. Possibly he’s both, but you can’t deny that it’s a positive for the gambling industry in Australia that a billionaire mining mogul is looking to invest billions of Australian dollars in a casino resort. We’ve had the chance of late to talk about the health of the casinos in Australia – both the online casinos (and their mobile cousins) and the casino resorts, too. And the grand, crazy plans for another casino resort north of Brisbane are just another bit of good news for the state of the industry here in Australia.

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