Australia: indigenous group claims land to build casino resort

The tribe wants to build a casino resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
The tribe wants to build a casino resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

The Kombumerri-NgarangWal Saltwater People have lodged a Native Title claim to an area of land on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Australia.- The Kombumerri people, one of the earliest tribal groups from the Nerang area of the Gold Coast in Queensland, have filed a Native Title claim with the aim of building a casino resort. In its claim, the tribe states that it is the legitimate owner of the broader Gold Coast lands and waterways at the southern end of Quandamooka Country.

The tribe proposes to revalue the area, known as The Spit and to become self-sufficient through the construction of a casino resort, a cable car and various tourist attractions. According to local media reports, the Kombumerri people’s plan is similar to the Cherokee Indian’s model in North America, where three casinos are run by the tribe.

Senior elder David Dillon told Sky News: “We are saying we now want to create our own destiny. We want to be part of the action so we can stand on our own feet. Our focus is ensuring the sustainable connection of our people to our country. The subjugation and marginalisation in the past are over.”

The Star Entertainment Group currently has the only casino licence for the Gold Coast area. However, the Queensland Government has launched an independent expert review into the suitability of The Star to continue to hold a casino licence in the state.

According to analysts, if The Star is deemed unsuitable to continue holding a casino licence, it is unlikely to go ahead with the development of its planned complex.

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GAMBLING REGULATION land-based casino