Sydney, Australia is “closed for business.” It doesn’t want any further growth or investment, and it doesn’t want to attract more tourists.

Local officials and regulators feel they’ve got enough on their plate and don’t need any new developments that could create more jobs and bring more revenue to the area. At least, that’s what some claim after their plans for a new hotel tower are denied by the Star sydney-australia-is-closed-for-business-minEntertainment Group.

This week, the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) finally put the issue to bed when it said sorry, no thanks to Star Entertainment and its big plan. Reports of the rejection led to a number of business speakers informing officials about the move and suggesting that stakeholders will now be switched off on any future development plans in the region.

Margy Osmond, the Tourism and Transport Forum CEO, said in a statement, “This is a sad day for Australian tourism. After four long years and millions of dollars invested on extensive consultation with the government, the community and stakeholders, for an unelected planning body to arrive at a decision like this is simply short-sighted.

She added, “The city is crying out for more hotel accommodation and we can’t get enough luxury beds built. [The] decision by the Independent Planning Commission sends a message to local and international investors that Sydney, the Gateway to Australia is closed for business.”

The New South Wales Planning Department decided in July that there was no need or desire for the 777-foot tower, but the final say was the IPC. It agreed after Star continued to fight for its dream, but the negativism surrounding the plan has been too great.

Osmond is not the only one who conflicts with the judgment of the IPC. Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson agrees that this is a huge step backwards and notes that “This decision is disappointing, as Sydney really needs new six-star hotels to attract the luxury traveller to keep our status as a global city. This is a lost opportunity, especially in the midst of the revitalisation of the Sydney CBD with light rail and the proposed removal of the lockouts.”


Hud Wafiq Ganem is a gambling industry pioneer. He is the founder of and his yearly gambling industry predictions and analysis are respected and adhered to by veterans and novices alike.
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