Monday, 11 September 2017

1986: Donald Trump and Sydney's proposed casino - NEW FINDINGS

Last year, I shared some material relating to a proposal by Donald Trump to construct a casino resort complex on the eastern side of Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour.

This week, NSW Cabinet papers from 1987 were made to the public. In addition, The Australian last month had revealed information relating to how the Unsworth Government (1986-1988) handled his proposal to build a casino resort and will provide a short summary of the material.

Above: Donald Trump's Casino Resort proposal for Darling Harbour (1986).
We now have a model of what Trump's resort would have looked like which was published in The Australian on Friday. As I mentioned, Harry Seidler was commissioned as the architect by Trump. The hotel tower reminds me of Shell House in Melbourne.

Sydney was being promised something special. It would look quite dated by todays standards and perhaps a redevelopment might have been in order.

Last year, I referred to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald from May 1987. Trump had tried to evade police checks required for operators of casinos in NSW. Cabinet Minutes show that while the concept had "public appeal" a NSW Police Board Report had suggested that Trump had links to the Mafia. Financial viability was also identified as a concern by CIBC Australia.

While the Darling Harbour Redevelopment Authority and the Casino Operations Board were satisified with the Trump proposal, it (along with three other proposed schemes) were rejected by Cabinet.