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The crushing weight of a Star: Why Qld needs its own casino inquiry

Opinion

Former Queensland Under Treasurer Gerard Bradley has fallen on his sword at Star and will resign as a director as the crushing weight of allegations about the company’s operations are exposed.

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But somehow the wrongdoings of the company, which operates the Treasury and Gold Coast casinos and is behind the $3 billion development of Queen’s Wharf, seems to stop at the Tweed.

The State Government has done little more than hold a watching brief on the overwhelming evidence emerging from the Sydney-baed inquiry. That might satisfy the politicians, but it does little to bring issues to public light in Queensland.

Given the apparent indifference from the State Government, the public would have a right to ask not only were similar activities operating in Queensland, but also why a public inquiry has not been launched here.

The issue goes right to the heart of the integrity questions hanging over the Palaszczuk Government.

So far evidence of money laundering, fraud and criminal infiltration of the Sydney casino have been raised during the public inquiry by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

The public has no knowledge whether this was also occurring in the Queensland operations and has a right to ask what has been going on?

Even Star director Sally Pitkin has said she believed Star needed oversight by an external and independent body.

Apparently, much of the wrongdoing was kept from the board and the chief executive, which is alarming in itself because these were issues that the board should know about.

Of course, the allegations cast a pall over the Queen’s Wharf development and raise questions about Star’s suitability to hold a licence anywhere.

Bradley, who had been a director since 2013, said this week that it was “clear to me that I will leave”.

He follows Matt Bekier, the managing director of the company who said there were significant, systemic problems at Sydney’s casino. Three senior executives, including chief financial officer Harry Theodore, have also walked.

More resignations at the senior level are expected and a class action against the company by investors has been initiated.

That’s more than enough evidence that a serious investigation needs to take place in Queensland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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