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Crown given planning approval to build Melbourne’s tallest tower

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Victorian premier announces 90-storey hotel and apartment building to be developed by casino operator

Casino giant Crown has been given the green light to build Melbourne’s tallest building – a $1.75bn, 90-storey hotel and apartments development.

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The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced planning approval for the controversial project at Crown Towers in Southbank on Thursday.

It will feature 388 hotel rooms and 708 residential apartments.
A start date has not been set but Crown estimates the work will take five to six years.

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“This will be Melbourne’s tallest building, and arguably it will be Australia’s tallest building,” Andrews said.

As part of the development, the government has committed $100m to public spaces, including upgrades to Queensbridge Square, Sandridge Bridge and Southbank Boulevard. There will be no gambling facilities within the building.

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The announcement comes a day after an auditor general report found Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation oversight of gambling and money laundering at Crown Casino was inadequate.

The regulator accepted the report and Andrews said on Thursday if it needed extra government support he would “only be to happy” to provide it.

In October 18 Crown employees were arrested in China as part of a crackdown on gambling by authorities seeking to curb corruption and the flow of capital out of the country.

The crackdown has led to questions about the viability of Crown’s plans for a new casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo that would be funded by attracting VIP high rollers from China.

Online Source: The Guardian

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