Queensland yet to do due diligence on ASF project

The Queensland government has yet to do the due diligence on the finances of the ASF Group, a China-backed consortium building a $3 billion integrated resort on the Gold Coast, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

The Office of the State Department has done some “preliminary financial due diligence” the newspaper said, but the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation had only provided advice about the casino licence. It said that an audit report has raised concern about the group’s financial position after its latest figures showed it only had a cash balance of $5.1 million.

The group was provided a preliminary license to operate a casino in Queensland in 2015 as part of efforts by the government to bring in more tourism arrivals and upgrade infrastructure. A second license was awarded to a consortium led by Star Entertainment, together with Hong Kong investors, for a project in downtown Brisbane on which work has begun.

A third provisional license was granted to the Aquis Group, which has promised and A$8.1 billion IR near Cairns. That project has since fallen through and the state government is seeking proposals from other operators, David Edwards project CEO of State Development said at the ASEAN Gaming Summit in Manila this week.

He added there had been strong interest in the potential.