Queen’s Wharf casino bridge reaches key milestone

By Mia Chapman Updated
Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf building plans unveiled

A bridge that will link Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf casino development to South Bank has reached a construction milestone.

The Brisbane Times reports that the Neville Bonner Bridge, whose archway is starting construction, is expected to create up to 2000 jobs and will be used by up to 10,000 people a day.

The first section of the bridge was positioned at South Bank, near the Wheel of Brisbane, in June and will allow easy access to Queen’s Wharf, the $3.6 billion casino and resort complex operated by Star Entertainment Group, which is due to open late next year.

“The crowning archway is now in place – these two 60 metre long, 90 tonne arches sit 30 metres above the river and will suspend the walkway,” Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Mile said.

“This wonderful bridge will link to incredible cultural precincts, South Bank on one side and the new tourism massive integrated resort on the city side, which you can see rising up from the ground.

“The larger of the towers is currently at level 20, which is about half the height it will eventually be, so you can really see the project coming together.

“You can start to get a sense of how these projects mesh together, how they’re changing the face of the city and how they’re providing a platform that will allow us to deliver a fantastic 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Government has faith in Star as casino operator despite media reports

Sydney-based The Star Entertainment Group, which runs casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, dominates the Queensland market, holding two of the state’s four operational licences, including The Star Gold Coast and Brisbane’s Treasury Casino.

The Treasury Casino will move to the new Queen’s Wharf development.

An investigation found that Star Entertainment had been enabling suspected money laundering, organised crime, large-scale fraud and foreign interference within its Australian casino for years, even though its board was warned its anti-money-laundering controls were failing.

Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said in October that the state’s gaming regulator, the police and Austrac were investigating allegations relating to Star, saying allegations about the company ignoring risk warnings were serious.

But when asked whether the situation in southern states would impact Star’s ability to run the casino development in Brisbane, Mr Miles said the company was doing an excellent job.

“No, I’m sure Star will do an excellent job of, in fact, are doing an excellent job, of delivering this city-changing project,” he said.

“It will be fantastic once it’s built.”

Star makes changes to employee policies

Australia’s second largest casino operator has made changes to its parental leave policies in a bid to be more employee focused.

Star employees now have improved workplace flexibility thanks to the new parental leave policy, which will ensure a family friendly, inclusive and diverse workplace.

Effective immediately, the new policy will increase paid parental leave from 10 weeks to 16 weeks for principal carers plus four weeks for secondary carers.

There will be superannuation paid on all company paid parental leave, plus an extra two weeks’ worth of superannuation, totalling 18 weeks, and the removal of waiting periods on continuous service eligibility for all permanent staff.

Paid parental leave can also now be taken up to two years after the birth or adoption of a child.

Changing family dynamics behind new policy

Star Entertainment chief executive and managing director Matt Bekier said the organisation understood that the family dynamics are different for each of its team members.

“We have worked hard to ensure all parents are supported and have the required flexibility as they welcome new family members.

“Our parental leave policy reflects the needs of our workforce and ensures that team members have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally throughout their time with The Star.”

The company said that the changes were made in collaboration with Women at The Star, a staff-led working group that aims to promote gender equality across all aspects of the business by championing change and advocating opportunities for all individuals.

“Inclusive policies assist organisations to attract and retain talented employees,” Women in Gaming and Hospitality Australasia chief executive officer Helen Galloway said.

“The Star should be congratulated on meaningful policy change that addresses equality in the workplace.”

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