NERANG, Australia, April 4 (UPI) -- A Chinese consortium has proposed building a resort and casino in the small town of Nerang on Australia’s eastern coast, which it considers a safer alternative to the entertainment strip further south.
The massive riverfront proposal on Australia’s “Gold Coast,” in anticipation of the Australian government’s licensure of three more casinos, came as a surprise to local leaders of the town of under 17,000.
“I’m gobsmacked that anyone would want to build a casino here or why it would even be in the cards,” said area councillor Bob La Castra.
Local parliament member Alex Douglas said, “I do not believe a casino would fit with Nerang’s character and the land would be better used as a high-density housing development.”
Jeff Sweeney Deputy premier of Queensland, announced the details Wednesday of 12 bidders interested in the casino licenses. Ridong Australia, which is behind another ambitious project at Surfer’s Paradise, unveiled its plans for Nerang.
An unidentified property analyst commented, “This is a $3 billion project. It’s three times the value of (the Surfer’s Paradise project). It is designed to give the Gold Coast a real nightlife. This will be a place where Australians can do business with the Chinese.”
[Gold Coast Bulletin]