NSW government to release casino plan assessment

NSW govt to release casino plan assessment - 14th January 2013

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Barangaroo Crown Limited Casinos Australian Casinos James Packer Property Politics Sydney

A consultant's report on James Packer's proposed $1 billion Barangaroo development will remain confidential, but the public will get to see a separate independent assessment of Mr Packer's plan, the NSW government says.

Cabinet commissioned a report by consultant Deloitte into Mr Packer's Crown Limited proposal, including whether a casino is necessary for its financial viability.

The report was completed last year but is yet to be released.

The Greens have accused NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell of hiding the document from the public while "rolling out the red carpet" to Mr Packer for his planned resort hotel.

Acting premier Andrew Stoner told reporters on Monday the report was cabinet-in-confidence so would not be released.

"We wanted to see that some of the economic data in particular was robust," Mr Stoner told reporters on Monday.

"We have some sensitive commercial information that was cabinet-in-confidence, and that's why that particular report has not been released."

However, he said the government had appointed former Future Fund chairman David Murray to chair an independent assessment panel reviewing Crown's proposal.

Mr Stoner said when the assessment process was completed, the information would be made public.

Mr Stoner said the government was committed to transparency throughout the process.

"Mr Murray needs to be convinced that the proposal is in the best interests of the taxpayers of NSW for that to proceed," he said.

Mr Kaye said the decision to "hide" the Deloitte report raised questions about the project and its approval process.

"The community is being denied access to crucial information about the proposal," he said.