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Dome land fits Burswood plan

THE Dome and the surrounding land fit into a grand vision Burswood CEO John Schaap has for the resort and entertainment precinct.

Central to Mr Schaap’s plan is the development of the Burswood foreshore, complete with ferry service to bring visitors to and from the Barrack Street jetty and the planned Perth convention centre.

Mr Schaap told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia luncheon that Burswood hoped to develop alfresco dining and boardwalks that would connect the river with the Casino.

He described the proposed development as having similarities to Fremantle.

“Some of the concepts will be to lift bits of Fremantle into the front of Burswood and give it a feel that people will want to come to see,” Mr Schaap said.

“This is the best development site in Perth, you are facing the river, close to the city and right next to the golf course and night life. This is really an exciting part of what I mean by adding value.

“This property has to deliver something new every two years because if you don’t people will stop coming.

“We are used to, as human beings, to looking at things that are exciting. So it is our job to continue to deliver things which are exciting.”

In order to get the best out of the site, Mr Schaap recognises the importance of getting on with the Government, something that he says Burswood has not always done well in the past.

“With a property and a resort and an icon such as Burwood it is absolutely crucial that the relationship with Government is focussed and successful,” he said.

“I think Burswood in the past probably missed opportunities that we probably shouldn’t have.

“At the end of the day our aim is to work cooperatively with government so that we can achieve something exciting.”

Mr Schaap was full of praise for the WA Governments endeavour to build a Convention Centre in Perth. He said this would be a positive development for the Casino even though Burswood is building its own convention facility.

Mr Schaap also needs WA Government approval to fill extra floor space in the gaming room with more poker machines and gambling tables once the $75 million expansion and renovation program at Burswood is complete.

The Casino is also moving into property development in a big way with almost $40 million being spent on purchasing and improving the 20-hectare Swan Portland site adjacent to the railway line and Dome.

Mr Schaap said that component of the business had to complement each other and add value to the existing business.

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