Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Councillor Column

Jan Clifford

As we emerge from “winter” and embrace the wonderful spring weather, I encourage us all to take particular care as our scaley snake friends awaken from their winter hibernation. They are usually hungry and cranky so please keep your children and your pets safe. The forest is also a source of danger to those who suffer severe allergies so again please take care.

Council has resolved to move to monthly meetings commencing this month in line with most other Queensland Councils. It is the intent to spend more time on looking at the big picture issues rather than the short council meetings we currently have. The meetings will still rotate between Proserpine and Bowen and will be live streamed. The recordings of these meetings will be kept and available for the public to view on Council’s website.

On the 15th of August, Greater Whitsunday Communities held their Greater Whitsunday Housing Summit in Mackay. The summit was attended by the three Local Governments as well as social housing providers, bankers, developers, real estate agents, state government and the mining, tourism and agriculture sectors.

There were some robust and enlightening conversations and presentations during the day. These are being collated into a report and position paper that we can use to lobby the State and Federal Governments for funding. However, everyone agreed that there is a critical shortage of housing across the wider region and that worker and affordable rentals must be addressed as a matter of extreme urgency.

Ergon are undertaking important works that started on Monday the 28th of August until the 16th of September which will affect the Central Lagoon Carpark which will limit the parking available.

Council is preparing to undertake works on the next stage of the Airlie Beach Boardwalk, which will result in the closure of the Boardwalk between the VMR Boat Ramp and Shingley Drive for around 13 weeks, from 11 September to early December. The works will expand the boardwalk by approximately 1m and see the old boards replaced with a composite fibre material.

A detour will be put in place behind Mirage Whitsundays Apartments, via Altmann Avenue and Shingley Drive. I can’t wait to see the finished product and get back out and about enjoying our wonderful foreshore area.

In other news