When Crown Barangaroo finally received approval from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) last month, it was thought that Crown Resorts could finally move forward with the construction process. However, that has not been the case, as Millers Point Fund Incorporated has filed a legal action against the approval of the casino, which could further delay the project.
Millers Point Fund, which is represented by the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO), argues that the commission’s approval of the casino was invalid, as it made ‘fundamental errors’ in considering the development.
When the PAC approved the project, its members cited the Casino Control Act 2013 which stated that a casino could have permission to be built near the foreshore. However, that area had already been reserved for a public park. The PAC suggested a number of amendments which would ensure that the public would still have access to the waterfront and that a larger green space would be created around the casino – but, the EDO argues that does not change the fact that the foreshore was never meant to be home to a gambling venue.
“Basically we are saying the Casino Control Act doesn’t dictate the planning decisions that are made in NSW,” says Sue Higginson, CEO of the EDO. “In fact the PAC really is required to make a decision about where a casino can and cannot be built based on planning law”.
Crown Resorts has stated that it will vigorously defend against the action. Legal proceedings will commence in a few weeks, which are likely to further delay the construction process. With past delays, the grand opening was pushed back from 2019 to 2021 – and, the developer could be look at another year if the case is drawn out.