Victorian Government OKs Australia's tallest building

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singtel building
A general view of Singtel's head office in Singapore June 2, 2016. Reuters/Edgar Su

Australia's tallest building will soon stand near Crown Casino in Southbank. The Victorian Government has approved the project, a six-star, 90-storey hotel and apartment complex that will be 323 metres high.

The building, which is destined to be taller than the 322.5-metre Q1 skyscraper in Surfers Paradise, will be built by Crown and the Schiavello Group. It will be composed of 388 hotel rooms, 708 residential apartments, a pedestrian skybridge and visitor attractions. The project has been designed by firm WilkinsonEyre.

Premier Daniel Andrews said it is the biggest development the city and the nation have seen by far. What is meant to be Australia's tallest building costs $1.75 billion in construction.

Andrews said planning approval has been granted in less than 12 months."In other parts of the country similar planning approvals, even much smaller projects, take years and years," he said. The project was approved by planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The project opens gates to upgrades in the area such as landscaping and two new cafes at nearby Queensbridge. The ABC has learned that it will also develop a new bike strip, street furniture and more trees along Queensbridge Street.

The Sandbridge Rail Bridge will also be improved. Andrews said they hope that it will be much like a Chelsea high line in New York City. "[The] site could be so much better in a city that needs more hotel rooms, given the blockbuster major events calendar we have," Andrews said.

Aside from the developments in the city, the project would also result to more job orders for the state. It would open opportunities for construction workers and for those in the hospitality sector.

Andrews said they are targeting to create 4,000 new jobs in the construction phase and for the future that adds to the current 10,500 jobs at Crown. It is expected that 3,000 jobs will be opened during construction and 1,000 jobs as soon as the project is completed.

But there are a few who oppose the project, including planning academic Michael Buxton. He believes that Crown appeared to have come up with its own rules for the site. "There is supposedly a rule in place for projects like this, but there are no rules, and the more powerful you are the fewer the rules. What a joke," Buxton exclaimed.

But Andrews is confident that the process has been careful and involved the department, the city council and state architect.  "This process has been careful, it has been considered," he maintained.