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Friday, January 25, 2013

James Packer casino panel 'needs independent voice' says independent MP

James Packer casino panel 'needs independent voice' says independent MP; Casino News Media Sydney property news update... Independent MP Alex Greenwich is proactively lobbying to have the New South Wales Auditor-General included in the panel assessing the benefits of James Packer's proposal for a billion-dollar hotel and casino at Barangaroo, a stones throw from tourism hotspot - The Rocks and Circular Quay. Packer's company Crown Limited wants to build a VIP - high roller only casino as part of the re-development of the site at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Crown advises the resort will boost the state's economy by $440 million and will deliver an extra $114 million in gaming tax. Sydney independent Alex Greenwich says there is an important voice missing in the assessment panel. "It doesn't have a stakeholder that will look after the public interest, and obviously the role of the Auditor-General is to make sure that public funds are used correctly," he said. "There doesn't seem to be too much transparency around the casino - there was no tender process, we are not sure how the cost of a licence will even be established. "A number of questions remain about the public benefit and I think it is important that there is an independent party that is concerned about the public interest as part of that review panel." Greens MP John Kaye agrees another person should be involved in the assessment process, but states Peter Achterstraat is the wrong person because it would compromise his job. "The Auditor-General is the man who has to look at this process after it's completed and assess it," he said. The Department of Premier and Cabinet too believes it would be inappropriate to involve the Auditor-General. Stay tuned to Media Man and Casino News Media for more of this developing (pun intended) situation. *the writer owns shares in Crown Limited Websites Crown Limited Media Man Int Casino News Media Media Man