ECHO FADES TO BLACK AS THE STAR SHINES

ECHO FADES TO BLACK AS THE STAR SHINES

SHAREHOLDERS in Echo Entertainment Group will notice a change on the Australian Stock Exchange today as the company officially transitioned to The Star Entertainment Group.

The Group's ASX code has changed from EGP to SGR, but that's not the only news from the company with The Star announcing a joint venture for the delivery of the Queen's Wharf Brisbane project.

Destination Brisbane Consortium (DBC), led by The Star, has formally partnered with Hong Kong-based organisations Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and together have entered into development agreements with the Queensland Government.

"A lot of work and lengthy, robust negotiation has brought us to this point," says The Star chairman John O'Neill.

"While the government drives a hard bargain, we're delighted with the outcome.

"We believe in the project and our vision to give this state a design, a development and a destination that will be quintessentially Brisbane and Queensland and will resonate around the world."

The Star's managing director and CEO Matt Bekier says today's news is a firm step in pushing forward the company's vision for Queen's Wharf.

"We are excited to have finalised and signed the development agreements with the Queensland Government to progress our vision to develop Queen's Wharf Brisbane into a globally recognised integrated resort that competes with the best in Macau, Singapore and any other destinations worldwide," he says.

"The redevelopment of Queen's Wharf Brisbane has the potential to deliver significant and positive change for the people of Brisbane, the Queensland Government and DBC."

DBC's proposal includes total investment of around $3 billion, with $2 billion of that spent on the integrated resort and entertainment precinct which will feature more than 1100 hotel rooms and a sky deck.  The residential precinct is expected to feature around 2000 apartments. 

The project is also expected to create more than 2000 jobs during construction and create more than 8000 jobs in Queensland once it is fully operational.

It is also expected to inject $1.69 billion in Queensland tourism annually, with it attracting close to 1.4 million additional tourist visitors each year.

Construction is anticipated to start in 2017 and The Star expects the resort to open in 2020. 

In addition to Queen's Wharf, The Star is also investing $345 million in the transformation of Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast, which is to be rebranded as The Star Gold Coast next year.

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