The Barangaroo casino project in New South Wales (NSW) has been hit with a number of delays ever since Crown Resorts proposed to build the $2 billion casino resort in 2012. The Land and Environment Court is expected to hear a lawsuit on November 15 which has been filed by Millers Point Fund and represents the residents of Millers Point. This area is near the Crown tower that is expected to be 271 metres tall.
Millers Fund has filed a case against the NSW government, Crown Resorts, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) and the developer Lendlease alleging that a number of breaches were committed during the approval process and that the Commission committed a fundamental error in approving the proposal.
Sue Higginson from the Environmental Defenders Office stated that the PAC leaned towards the decision made by the Parliament and as a result did not raise any objections against the proposed casino. The Parliament had approved the site where the Barangaroo casino is expected to be constructed but Higginson objects because she states that the Casino Control Act has not been followed.
Millers Point Fund wants the casino tower to be re-located to Hickson Road and the proposed site to remain as the old foreshore park. If the courts decide to rule in favor of Millers Fund, it could cause a significant delay for the Crown Barangaroo project, force a re-location or even cause Crown Resorts to think twice about proceeding with the casino project.
Crown Resorts made changes to its Barangaroo casino proposal earlier this year based on the suggestions offered by the PAC. However those changes do not appear to have satisfied Millers Fund who are determined to get the proposed casino resort shifted to another location.
In a statement, a representative for Lendlease said “Lendlease has worked with Crown, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and other stakeholders to achieve an appropriate planning outcome for the Barangaroo South precinct. Lendlease has received approval of a modification to the concept plan applying to Barangaroo South from the Planning Assessment Commission. Lendlease intends to defend that approval in the Land and Environment Court.”
Crown Resorts has also reaffirmed its commitment to fight the Millers Fund Lawsuit. The final decision will be up to the Land and Environment Court who will have to decide if the PAC approval is valid or if the casino site should be vacated.
Crown has had a rough time during the last few weeks after 18 of its employees were arrested in China on charges of breaching the country’s gambling law. These employees were allegedly in Mainland China to lure VIP gamblers to Crown’s casino resorts in Australia as its Australian operations depends heavily on VIP gamblers from Asia. The company revealed in October that its VIP gambling revenue in Australia had dropped by 8 percent to $879 million.