Premier’s Office confirms Sunshine Coast Council gambling meeting
The Office of the Premier of Queensland has confirmed in a letter to Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace, that representatives of the Sunshine Coast Council, and officers of its wholly owned developer SunCentral, met with gambling corporation NagaCorp in 2017 to discuss opportunities in the new Maroochydore CBD development.
Mr Wallace said that the letter raised further questions for Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.
He said “The Mayor has repeatedly tried to downplay the Council’s involvement in discussions with an international gambling corporation. Yet we now have it confirmed by the Premier’s Office that representatives of both the Council and SunCentral met with NagaCorp to discuss opportunities in the new Maroochydore CBD. In fact, the Premier’s Office has revealed that officers of the State Government’s Special Projects Unit from the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games met with representatives of Nagacorp on three occasions, namely in June, July and November 2017.”
“What isn’t clear from the letter, written not by the Premier, but by her Deputy Chief of Staff, is whether representatives of the Sunshine Coast Council and/or SunCentral were present at just one, two or all three meetings. Sunshine Coast residents deserve to know about these discussions which the Council and now the Premier’s Office wish to keep secret.”
Mr Wallace said “The State Government has made it very clear that NagaCorp were in Queensland to look at what opportunities there are to build a new casino. It is time that Cr Jamieson told us all exactly what his Council officers and/or representatives of SunCentral were authorised to discuss with NagaCorp, and what further conversations they have had since then. It is no longer good enough to try to pass the buck on to the State Government.”
Dissatisfied with the Premier’s response, Mr Wallace will be lodging a Right to Information Application to seek answers from the State Government to the questions he posed in his letter dated 21 February 2018.
Mr Wallace has organised a Sunshine Coast Casino Community Meeting, taking place at Kawana Waters State College on Tuesday 17 April. The meeting will include presentations from experts like Monash University’s Dr Charles Livingstone, as well as a question and answer session. Cr Jamieson was invited to take part in this community meeting, but has declined the invitation.
“Now more than ever it is important for the community to gather to discuss this proposal and make our views heard. I encourage all local residents who care about the future of our community to come along to my Casino meeting. I will be taking careful note of your feedback, and passing it straight on to the Mayor.” He said.
The meeting is open to all Sunshine Coast residents at no cost, but bookings are essential. Interested residents can register at https://www.trybooking.com/UNYD.
The Premier’s letter, signed by Deputy Chief of Staff Denise Spinks, reads:
“I can confirm that Special Projects Unit officers met with representatives of NagaCorp in June, July and November 2017 to discuss a range of potential gaming and non−gaming investment opportunities throughout Queensland. This included facilitating meetings with officers from SunCentral and Sunshine Coast Council so that the investor could better understand the vision for the new Maroochydore central business district.”
Concerned residents can sign Mr Wallace’s petition at http://www.andrewwallacemp.com.au/MyWorkforFisher/CasinoPetition-471/