Lack of progress on Surfers Paradise project

BCM property — Artists impression of the $950 million Jewel development in Surfers Paradise.

GRAND plans to build a ­casino in Nerang could be ­halted by significant State Government restrictions on the $3 billion development.

The integrated resort and casino proposal is one of 12 bidding for state licences and has been welcomed by the development industry.

But if approved Ridong Australia, the Chinese consortium behind the project, could be forced to instead break ground on its $1 billion Surfers Paradise project Jewel.

The three-tower development was called in and its approval fast-tracked by the State Government two years ago but work is yet to begin.

The Bulletin understands senior Newman Government figures are “frustrated and disappointed” by the lack of progress on Jewel and would be reluctant to approve the ­Nerang development without assurances it would be completed first.

Development industry figures are sceptical the project will even be taken seriously.

“The government’s disappointment is understandable given it spent a lot of political capital on naming Jewel as the first call-in of this term and have been patient despite all the delays,” said a development industry source close to Ridong.

“Ridong are still saying Jewel will begin construction by midyear but … there is no sign of anything happening.”

While Mayor Tom Tate has welcomed the project, councillors have told the Bulletin it would struggle to gain development approval due to its size and scope.

Ridong is one of two Gold Coast consortiums seeking a casino licence and will be considered alongside ASF, the company behind the controversial cruise ship terminal.

It has been earmarked for a massive riverfront site just east of Nerang railway station.

The 44.89ha site was settled late last year for $22.88 million, with Ridong Australia

It has been designed by DBI Architecture but original plans to build the city’s tallest tower, at 100 storeys, have been scrapped.

Details of the Chinese-style complex remain under wraps.

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