Star hopes to make old new again with textile recovery operation

By William Brown Updated
Star Sydney has a new CEO

Star Entertainment has launched a new textile recovery operation that will launch in Queensland in the new year.

Hotel Management reports that the casino operator will transform old staff uniforms, linen, towels and other textiles in an effort to reduce the amount of material going to landfill.

The company announced its support for a new clean technology business known as BlockTexx, which will launch in 2022 in what it says is Australia’s first textile recycling facility, to be located in the Brisbane suburb of Logan.

The facility has been developed to address the high level of textile waste going into landfill around Australia.

Australia generated 74.1 million tonnes of textile waste in 2018-19, with the recovery and recycling rate being 60 per cent, according to the 2020 National Waste Report from Blue Environment, prepared for the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Star Entertainment chief executive officer Matt Bekier said the company was eager to play a leading role in how the hospitality industry handles textile waste and to help pioneer and drive change in the sector.

“With sustainability firmly at the forefront of our operations, it was important for The Star to ensure that unwanted and obsolete material does not end up in landfill,” Bekier said.

“As such, we teamed with BlockTexx, who will help recycle and repurpose them into a variety of new products.”

Commercial operations at the new recycling centre will begin in 2022, providing new jobs to local residents and injecting A$43 million annually into the economy once at full capacity.

Star pushes back on Crown comparison

Star Entertainment has gone on the offensive to shareholders, denying media reports that the embattled casino operator is just like Crown Resorts. reports that Star bombarded shareholders with information, including rattling off a list of efforts it has undertaken to combat money laundering.

These include rolling out facial recognition technology in Queensland after it was installed at its Sydney casino.

Earlier this month, Star shares plunged the day after a 60 Minutes report aired a raft of claims around various allegedly dodgy gamblers pouring a staggering amount of ill-gotten cash into its venues.

These include a “mostly unemployed” man who allegedly funnelled $175 million through Star and was charged in connection to the seizure of three tonnes of cocaine.

The report, which followed a joint investigation with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, also claimed to reveal Star’s top executives were briefed on “secret” KPMG audit reports in 2018 that warned anti-money laundering systems at its venues were failing.

The company issued two statements in response, initially saying it considered a number of assertions within the media reports “misleading” and then dismissing them as incorrect.

The latter was the term chief executive John O’Neill again used at Star’s annual general meeting that recently took place.

“As you would appreciate, we are not able to comment publicly on individuals,” Mr O’Neill told investors.

“However, we can comment on steps we have taken for continuous improvement in not only the area of anti-money laundering, but also responsible gambling and other key operational practices across the group.

“I want to make it clear – The Star is committed to a culture of compliance and to the extent improvements in controls or practices are identified, we will act on them.”

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