City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

14 Cities: Star City

Written in



Part of the 14 Cities series: 

"The ‘Macau of the South’, Star City emerged from the ruins of the deadly Sydney casino fire in 2014. Still assumed to be arson committed by the disgruntled local residents of Pyrmont and Ultimo, upset at the casino’s impact on local traffic, business and architecture, Star City had been burnt to the ground and lay in ruins for some months.

While another local theory that the fire was an insurance scam also cannot be disproved, the casino had outgrown its Pyrmont location and had been looking for an excuse to move.

Yet no-one expected the scale of the move, just as no-one in Queensland expected the state government’s continuing pursuit of businesses from south of the border to extend to donating both Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island to the now-Chinese-owned gambling chain.

Linked by high-speed rail bridges to Brisbane Airport and with its own landing strip terra-formed off the eastern edge of the islands welcoming visitors from Indonesia, Malyasia and China, Star City offers thrill-seekers a unique combination of risk and comfort, faux-classical architecture and vast strips of white sand beaches.

An incoming visitor population of 10,000 augments the 25,000 permanent residents that live across both islands, principally in the 15 high-rise towers known as the ‘Stars of the Star City’ for the late-night light-show that can be seen from Brisbane."

Notes: I'm absolutely no fan of 'organised gambling' and its ruinous impact on Australian lives, as you can probably tell, which is hardly helped by getting the tram past the actual Star City twice a day. Equally, the positioning of the casino in the centre of Brisbane, in its former treasury building no less, never mind the massive Crown Casino complex in the centre of Melbourne, indicates the prominence they have in the development of Australian cities. Whether one would go so far as to destroy the pristine sands of Stradbroke Island is another matter …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: