Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Whitsunday Regional Council has taken the first steps towards the construction of a $200,000 Airlie Place of Refuge.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Adam Hagy said that Council is seeking a contribution of 50 per cent of the funding for the project through the Disaster Ready Fund Round 1.
“This funding will allow us to pursue concept designs and feasibility studies,” Mr Hagy said.
“It is envisaged that the end product of this project would be located on Waterson Way, but that is yet to be determined through a feasibility study and further community consultation as the project develops.”
The project will encompass project planning to deliver a place of refuge in Airlie Beach, eventually providing a place for residents in Cannonvale, Jubilee Pocket, Airlie Beach, Mandalay, and Shute Harbour to evacuate to in the event of a severe weather incursion.
During these initial stages, the project will include original project scoping with community consultation through concept and detailed design and cost estimation.
Mr Hagy said the project is two-fold, with a chase for it to serve both the area as an emergency shelter and also as a car parking facility.
"Whilst it is a place of refuge, we're also considering a report in March 2022 that identified by 2036 Council would need an additional 486 car parks in Airlie Beach CBD," Mr Hagy said.
“That is due to population growth and tourism influx.”
Currently, in the event of a major weather event, whether that be fire, flood, or storm– such as Cyclone Debbie in 2017 – residents were only able to utilise a place of refuge in Proserpine and Bowen.
The initial steps for the construction of an Airlie Beach Place of Refuge have begun as Whitsunday Regional Council seeks funding