A highly anticipated $6.3 million revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore has just been completed, following the devastating damage that occurred to the site during Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
The project reveal comes as part of a community celebration on the shores of Queensland’s Airlie Bay, with improvements to the foreshore including a new market site, carpark and performance stage, upgraded amenities block, and a ‘beach step’ stadium near the Esplanade.
Prior to works, the Airlie Beach community was invited to have their say on the proposal for revitalisation of the area, which outlined improvements to infrastructure, multipurpose areas and the beautification of surrounds.
Following extensive consultation, Option A was eventually selected as the preferred choice, with the markets to remain in their current popular location.
The detailed design was adopted by the Whitsunday Regional Council on 28 March 2018 and construction subsequently began in September 2018.
After months in the making, the project was successfully completed by the end of June 2019, on budget and in time for the July school holidays.
Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development, Julieanne Gilbert, said the completion of the project was made possible through the hard work and cooperation of all three levels of government.
“The revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore is completely transformative for our region,” Ms Gilbert said.
“The improvements have supported jobs and will lead to the creation of new ones, and it will encourage more people to visit, stay and play here in Whitsundays.”
“This is great news from both a social and economic standpoint, giving energy to the area and boosting local business,” she added.
Other key features of the project include a new three-metre-wide footpath along the beachfront connecting Airlie Beach Lagoon to the Bicentennial Walkway, and an adventure playground that was opened early for the recent Easter holidays.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor, Andrew Willcox, commented that Airlie Beach Foreshore was a popular destination for all residents and visitors, valued for its beautiful bay, island views and regular markets, festivals and events.
“The revitalisation of the park is symbolic of the region’s ongoing recovery from Cyclone Debbie, and the completion of these works is truly a reason to celebrate.”
Revitalisation works were funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) ($850,000), and through the Palaszczuk Government’s $365 million Building our Regions Program ($2.83 million) and its $110 million commitment to areas impacted by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie ($2.657 million).