Abu Dhabi royalty makes visit

AN EXCITING AFFAIR: United Arab Erimates foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with the students of Proserpine State School to mark the start of construction of the cyclone shelter to be built on the school grounds before next year's cyclone season.

Photo Courtney Garnham / Whitsunday Times
AN EXCITING AFFAIR: United Arab Erimates foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with the students of Proserpine State School to mark the start of construction of the cyclone shelter to be built on the school grounds before next year's cyclone season. Photo Courtney Garnham / Whitsunday Times

IT WAS a day that will be remembered by Proserpine State School students forever - the day the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi flew into Proserpine to mark the start of construction of the town's cyclone shelter at their school.

It was a royal affair with three helicopters landing on the primary school oval to allow for His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates foreign affairs minister to see the site.

The shelter will be built at Proserpine State School as part of a $60m partnership with the Queensland State Government and the United Arab Emirates which will result in 10 shelters being built across the state.

Sheikh Abdullah had been holidaying in the Whitsundays this week and brought his entourage to meet with the deputy premier Andrew Fraser and member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt to officially turn the sod.

The primary school students were elated by the visit and welcomed the ministers with a special speech by the school captains who detailed how they were personally affected by the weather extremes earlier this year.

The school choir played Abu Dhabi's national anthem.

Queensland reconstruction authority chair, major general RG Wilson also delivered a presentation to the Sheikh on last summer's weather activities.

Sheikh Abdullah said the partnership showed the strength of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the Queensland Government.

"I'm very delighted to be here for a very good reason," he said.

"It is true we come from very different societies, very different cultures and even very different languages…but a message from the UAE is: may peace be upon you all."

He said a number of people from the UAE frequently holidayed in Queensland, and the Whitsundays, and sympathised with the state when Cyclone Yasi hit.

The cyclone shelter will double as a facility for the school students to use and is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Mr Fraser said it was now up to the state government to get the shelters constructed as part of the combined government project.

"Responsibility now lies with the Queensland Government," he said.

"We hope this shelter never has to be used as a cyclone shelter but for everyday activities."

Mr Fraser said Proserpine had been chosen for construction in preference over Airlie Beach because it was further from the coast and more accessible.

"What we don't want is cyclone shelters that get cut off and are islands in their own rights," he said.

"Ultimately these are not evacuation centres." 



Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
SELLER'S LOSS IS YOUR... $199,000
Residential Land If you are looking for a good block that has been cut ...
DESIRABLE LOCATION $569,000
House 5 2 2
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE... $410,000
House 3 2 3
FAMILY HOME ON 4051SQM ... AUCTION Sat 27th...
House 4 1 2

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Whitsundays jobs listed daily

Featured Jobs
DRILL FITTERS Mackay Contract
Sales / Tour Desk... Airlie Beach Full Time
Office Administrator Cannonvale Part Time



Local Partners

Local Profile

Horoscopes

Virgo

Your dreams are vivid, and there may be some psychic experiences that will help you come to a conclusion over a problem. Trust your instincts.

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save