Local government in Australia have announced that they are going to release details of the NSW casino assessment that will be taking place over mogul James Packer’s plans to build a new resort in Bangaroo, according to details revealed this week. The cabinet had commissioned consultant Deloitte to make an assessment of the plans, and although the full details of that will remain confidential the public will be able to read all of the results of a second, independent assessment once it is carried out.
Many people were disappointed to learn that they would not be able to get an inside view of what the report said about the casino complex, which is set to cost $1 billion to build and which has come under some fire from particular parties. The Greens have accused the premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, of hiding the document from the public, and, as they put it, “rolling out the red carpet” to James Packer; but acting premier Andrew Stoner has a different view of things. “We wanted to see that some of the economic data in particular was robust,” Stoner said. “We have some sensitive commercial information that was cabinet-in-confidence, and that’s why that particular report has not been released.”
The new independent review will be carried out by a new panel, which will be headed up by the Future Fund chairman David Murray, a man with plenty of experience in looking at the longevity of financial proposals. Stoner has confirmed that the results will be made public once this committee has made their report, and he also said that the government are committed to transparency through this whole process in order to reassure the public. “Mr Murray needs to be convinced that the proposal is in the best interests of the taxpayers of NSW for that to proceed,” he said.
There have, of course, been continued protests from the other side. We can only imagine that they will be sticking to online casino games once this new resort finally opens, rather than joining in the fun like everyone else!