Viacom park viable

Hameister tapped to head Oz facility

SYDNEY — Paul Hameister has been named managing director, Australasia, of the Viacom Themed Entertainment Group, to spearhead the development of a $A350 million ($230 million) theme park, film studio and megaplex cinema in Melbourne’s rejuvenated Docklands district.

Hameister, an Australian native and former lawyer and merchant banker, told Daily Variety that a consortium headed by Viacom is concluding development agreements with the Docklands Authority, and he hopes construction will start by the end of this year.

2000 target opening

Tagged Entertainment City, it’s skedded to open in late 2000 or early 2001 and will be financed chiefly by a property trust to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, plus equity from the partners.

Viacom has a majority stake alongside the other members in Bruce Gordon’s WIN Corp. (embracing Crawfords Prods., which will manage the planned three TV sound stages and one feature film stage), industrial conglom Visy Industries, Macquarie Bank and producer/entrepreneur Paul Davies’ Davies Corp.