Melbourne's Southern Star rolls near

Australia's largest amusement ride, a 120m Ferris wheel to open in 2006.

Built by Japanese company Sanoyas Hishino Meisho Corporation (Meisho), considered the world leaders in Ferris wheel manufacturing, the Southern Star Observation Wheel is expected to become an Australian icon, a sight as impressive as England's London Eye on the banks of the Thames.

The ride is expected to generate up to $45 million per year, promising 1.5 million riders per year paying $28 for the 30 minute ride, plus $3 million from the naming rights to the ride. It is said that there is interest from both Australian and international companies for this valuable piece of advertising.

ING Development and Lewis Land are expected to on-sell the ride shortly after to a yet-to-be-formed tourism trust – similar to Macquarie Leisure Trust, the only other of its kind in Australia – which will become a part of ING Real Estate.

Southern Star will make up just one of the many aspects of Waterfront City, a district of Melbourne which will soon become one of the city's best for shopping, dining, entertainment and a modern urban lifestyle.

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