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Crown gets ball rolling on 6-star hotel
Big plans: James Packer at Burswood. Picture: Lee Griffith/ The West Australian

James Packer's Crown group has started its $570 million luxury hotel project at Burswood, lodging environmental approval documents for the 500-room development on the banks of the Swan River.

The plans reveal the footprint of the venture - a 25-storey six-star hotel, VIP gaming rooms, high-end retail and convention facilities that will dwarf the site's nearby existing hotels and casinos.

They also give a glimpse of how expanded gambling facilities of 130 new tables and 500 machines will be linked to the hotel, and the development's resort-style theme.

"The design of the property will capitalise on the unique nature of the site and leverage the Mediterranean climate in Perth to create a true unique resort setting," the documents, lodged with the Federal Government's Environment Department, said.

"The property will cater to affluent business and leisure clientele, and support a VIP gaming component which will integrate into the hotel tower through the incorporation of villa accommodation and VIP gaming salons (subject to approvals)."

It follows hot on the heels of Crown's preliminary approval for a $1 billion six-star hotel as part of the premium Barangaroo development in Sydney that is part of Mr Packer's stated aim to build a gaming empire in the Asia-Pacific region to compete with booming casino centres such as Singapore.

Crown has invested $557 million in Crown Perth since 2008 and plans to spend another $807 million over the next three years, including the new hotel.

It raised about $500 million in capital recently and its cashflow could blossom over the next few years as its building program tails off, meaning it should be able to fund the expansion comfortably.

Golder Associates will undertake environmental surveys of the site, complemented by Golder's existing work for the State Government on the new football stadium.

When the project was announced in August, Opposition Leader Mark McGowan welcomed the development but criticised Mr Packer for not contributing to the cost of the $1.2 billion stadium, which is expected to boost crowds to his new gambling venture.

Crown says given the existing development on the site, potential environmental impacts can be minimised, including using ground-level parking to minimise excavation. More parking is planned on a redeveloped Burswood Dome site.