A $6.3 million revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore has been completed after the site was damaged during Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie in 2017.
The project reveal comes as part of a community celebration on the shores of Airlie Bay, with improvements including a new market site, carpark and performance stage, upgraded amenities block, and a ‘beach step’ stadium near the Esplanade.
Member for Mackay and Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert said 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.
“The Palaszczuk Government will continue working to help communities prepare for and recover from cyclones and other natural disasters.”
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.
Federal Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the completion of the project was a big step forward on Whitsundays’ road to recovery.
“Tourism is so important to this region, and recreational spaces like Airlie Beach Foreshore attract visitors and help the economy recover,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This is a great space and the Federal Coalition Government is proud to do its bit.”
Mayor Andrew Willcox said 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.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this new community space, which will showcase what our beautiful region has to offer,” Cr Willcox said.
“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), and through the Palaszczuk Government’s $365 million Building our Regions Program and its $110 million commitment to areas impacted by STC Debbie.