Australian Politician Launches Petition against Sunshine Coast Casino Project

An Australian House Representative has launched a petition encouraging Sunshine Coast residents to refuse support for a reported plan for the construction of a casino resort as part of the Maroochydore Central Business District development project, local news outlet Courier Mail reported.

News emerged earlier this month that Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp had visited the Sunshine Coast to explore development opportunities in the area. The Hong Kong-listed company currently manages the NagaWorld casino resort and its recently launched extension Naga 2 in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Andrew Wallace, a Member for Fisher, has opposed the potential construction of a casino in the region, reiterating his position to always oppose the development of a venue of this kind. The politician has commented the latest casino-related reports by saying that the Sunshine Coast does not need a gambling facility as it would not match the established family-friendly environment of the region.

Mr. Wallace has also voiced concerns that a casino would cause numerous social harms, including an increase in crime, alcohol and drug abuse, family breakdowns, and different other social and mental health ills. The federal government member has pointed out that Sunshine Coast officials should ensure that no more “mechanisms of misery” are created in the area and that its character is preserved.

Based on feedback from Sunshine Coast residents, Mr. Wallace has said that the majority did not want a casino added to the Maroochydore CBD development project. Concerned citizens have been encouraged to join the politician’s initiative and sign the “Say no to council’s casino”.

Why Is the Maroochydore CBD Important for the Region?

The development of the Maroochydore CBD is expected to create numerous new jobs for residents of the region and to boost local and state tourism. According to a recent statement by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland’s tourism industry employs over 200,000 people and is worth more than A$25 billion. The politician also said that she believes it can grow even further if managed and developed properly.

The Maroochydore CBD has been hoped to turn into a project that would successfully enhance local tourism. The project will include the development of numerous entertainment, food and beverage, and convention facilities, office buildings and residential and accommodation properties. A new Sunshine Coast City Hall building would also be constructed as part of the scheme.

The first proposals for the addition of a casino resort emerged last year when Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson argued that the region was among the most suitable locations in the state for hosting a facility of this kind and that it would further boost tourism activity.

Other politicians have too committed to making efforts to prevent a gambling venue from being built in the Sunshine Coast. Shortly after news about NagaCorp’s interest in extending its international footprint to the region, Liberal National Party MP Jarrod Bleijie said that he and his party would not support such a development.

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