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John Harrison: How clever are casinos?

John Harrison comments in the Brisbane Times (22.5.16) about the pitfalls of governments relying too frequently on casino developments as an immediate boost to employment, tourism and economic growth. This comes as the Brisbane City Council’s development processes and heritage protections come under increasing scrutiny.

‘Star Entertainment announced last week a new master plan for its Broadbeach casino, “bigger than Brisbane’s giant Queen’s Wharf”, according to the local press.

‘This will boost the Gold Coast’s major industry, which, organised crime apart, is actually property development and not tourism, and will provide lots of short term jobs for cement truck drivers, tilers and gyprock setters.

‘Longer term jobs for bar attendants, nightclub bouncers and others engaged in the night-time economy will follow.

‘Such announcements attract politicians like possums to a fruit tree. This announcement was attended by three cabinet ministers: Premier Palaszczuk, Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Tourism Minister Kate Jones.’

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