Developer Australia Cove Limited has released plans for its $300 million casino project ‘The Mildura’ which is to be developed in the Victorian city of Mildura. The proposal includes plans to build a casino, a five-star hotel with 165 rooms, as well as a convention centre and retail facilities.
The proposed development plan has been supported by numerous city bodies including the Mildura Tourism, The Mildura Development Corporation, Mildura City Heart and Mildura airport representatives despite the State Government declaring that it is not planning on issuing a second casino license.
Previous attempts at developing a second casino in the city have failed.
Australia Cove chief executive Bob McIver said that the project would be able to gain approval with support from the public. He added that he was confident that the State Government could be convinced to issue a second license especially given the developer’s strong experience in such projects. McIver said that earlier casino project proposals had not adopted the correct strategy, leading to their failure in finding acceptance.
Jenny Grigg, chairman of the Mildura Development Corporation said that the project would be an iconic one for the region and the nation. In a statement, Jenny Grigg said,
It offers huge potential for our region, in economic development — jobs and growth. We're looking at 800 jobs in construction and 800 ongoing jobs. The potential is to provide our young people with new and exciting career paths, not just provide them with a job but new career paths and take them into a productive future. The flow-on effects that this project provides are massive.
Grigg said that the corporation had decided to support the project after reviewing its economic impact on the area, the developer’s track record and its effect on encouraging growth in jobs and investment within the region.
Mildura Rural City Council chief executive Gerard José also indicated support by stating that the council was always in favor of projects that resulted in improved economic and social conditions for the community. He added that the council was yet to receive a formal proposal from the developers but welcomed a detailed presentation to the councilors.
Reverend Canon Dale Barclay of the Anglican Parish of Sunraysia South was the lone dissenting voice who pointed out that all organizations were supporting the new casino project without doing a social impact analysis. He stated that Mildura was losing almost A$70,000 a day via pokie machines and any further increase could result in further social problems.