An artist impression of the Queens Wharf development in Brisbane. Photo: Supplied Star Entertainment’s Geoff Hogg says the company had not discussed the cost of Brisbane CBD intersection upgrades. Photo: Christopher Pearce
Nanjing Night Net

A $10 million hole in the Brisbane City Council budget looks unlikely to be directly filled by the consortium behind the Queens Wharf casino and resort complex, despite the project being directly responsible for the bill.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said last week the council had been “left hanging” by the state government’s refusal to guarantee a $10 million reimbursement for nine intersection upgrades necessitated by the Queens Wharf development.

Usually, developers foot the bill for such necessary work through infrastructure charges, but Star Entertainment Group Queensland managing director Geoff Hogg said the Destination Brisbane consortium had not discussed that option with the council or the state government.

“When it gets into the detail of the funding, we’re looking more at a holistic overall spend rather than individual components with the state,” he said.

“When it comes to the construction, we’re very focused on how to make sure the precinct is still activated from a transport perspective and we use the advice of the transport department and others.

“From our perspective, it’s got to be a very safe environment.

“So those things take priority over the funding as we’ve already agreed on high-level numbers.”

Mr Hogg said all of Star’s funding negotiations had been done at a state government level.

“Everything that’s being done within the precinct, we are funding and we’ve gone through and worked with the state (government) in regards to negotiations and what we’re doing,” he said.

“So, as the city grows, there’s some other things they are considering and evolving and we just work through with the state in developing those discussions.

“But our primary conversation’s been with the state.”

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the council had known about the infrastructure requirements for “quite some time”.

“It didn’t come out of the blue,” he said.

“The only thing that came out of the blue was the Lord Mayor’s comments.”

But Dr Lynham said the cost of roadworks and other associated infrastructure was “all incorporated in the package”, but whether that would amount to the $10 million the council was asking for was yet to be seen.

“We will work out the cost once the work’s been completed and, as the Premier said, we’ll sort out the billing arrangement from there,” he said.

“But you have to remember the people of Queensland benefit from this, but also and significantly the Brisbane City Council will benefit from this building.

“There will be rateable value here for the Brisbane City Council, so it’s not as if they’re subsidising.

“In the long term, Brisbane City Council will be beneficiaries of this project.”

Comment was sought from Cr Quirk, who last week said other council projects would have to be scrapped to allow for the CBD upgrades.

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