Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Councillor Column With Councillor Jan Clifford

It has been a fabulous start to the year in Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays as we welcomed 21 Cruise Ships and over 33,800 passengers and crew ashore across the region.

Not only did these visitors come into our towns and spend money with our local shops and restaurants, but many also took the opportunity to visit some of our wonderful natural attractions such as Whitehaven Beach, the Conway Ranges and the Proserpine River with our local tour operators.

Each passenger and crew member that enjoys a positive experience in our region has the potential to come back again in the future, bringing their friends and family with them. I would like to say a massive thank you to those of you who work tirelessly to make sure their stay with us is as enjoyable as possible and that they leave the Whitsundays with fond memories.  

In other news, upgrades are scheduled to commence on the Bicentennial boardwalk between Coral Sea Marina and Coral Sea Resort from 24 April – June 9 (approx. 6 weeks, subject to weather), resulting in the temporary closure of this section. The work will see the Boardwalk widened by approximately 1 metre, increasing its capacity for future growth and improving safety for users. The project will also see the current natural timber replaced with timber composite material to significantly reduce maintenance costs and prolong the life of the asset.  

This upgrade is essential to renew the asset, plan for our future growth and will greatly enhance access for all in the long term. The Bicentennial boardwalk is an important structure and a great asset to our community. It is imperative that we maintain the safety of the boardwalk so that we can continue to enjoy it for years to come. We hope to undertake similar upgrades to remaining sections of the Boardwalk as grant funding comes available in the future.

I understand that these works may be inconvenient for some people in the short-term, but the end result will be worth it. We will provide appropriate wayfinding signage for users to utilise a detour via Shute Harbour Road and are investigating opportunities with Whitsunday Transit to secure services to the bus stop at Coral Sea Marina. Please check out our Online Engagement Portal project page, Your Say Whitsunday for more information. I appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

In other news