News

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." 


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Premier Men tame Lions

GOAL: The Whitsunday FC Premier Men celebrate another goal at the Whitsunday Sportspark last night. 
Photo Rory Sheavils / The Guardian

The Whitsunday FC Premier Men put paid to Lions at home last night.

This year’s fete set to be great!

WINNERS: 1st Lawton Kelly, 6 (centre), 2nd Kate Bennett, 10 (left) and 3rd Gemma Ross, 8 (right).

This year's fete will feature a host of fun events

Hollywood stars hit Hamo

STAR POWER: Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly been holidaying on Hamilton Island this week.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Hemsworth have been spotted on Hamo

Latest deals and offers

Tunes to get you moving

The Whitsunday Reef Festival will be rocking the town with some of the country's hottest young talent performing throughout the 10-day extravaganza.

Premier Men tame Lions

GOAL: The Whitsunday FC Premier Men celebrate another goal at the Whitsunday Sportspark last night. 
Photo Rory Sheavils / The Guardian

The Whitsunday FC Premier Men put paid to Lions at home last night.

This year’s fete set to be great!

WINNERS: 1st Lawton Kelly, 6 (centre), 2nd Kate Bennett, 10 (left) and 3rd Gemma Ross, 8 (right).

This year's fete will feature a host of fun events

Hollywood stars hit Hamo

STAR POWER: Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly been holidaying on Hamilton Island this week.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Hemsworth have been spotted on Hamo

Champion returns to defend Airlie triathlon

WARRIOR RETURNS: Sam Betten claiming the Hamilton Island Triathlon in 2014.Photo Andrea Francolini

Sam Betten is determined to defend his triathlon title

PJs will help children

ALL DAY COMFORT: Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre family support worker Kerri Brown, community development officer Tamara Noble and admin officer Peita Rollings getting ready for Pyjama Day last year. Photo: Charlotte Lam

Wear PJs to work and help children

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Hollywood stars hit Hamo

STAR POWER: Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly been holidaying on Hamilton Island this week.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Hemsworth have been spotted on Hamo

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Chance to own an island

Keswick Island is for sale.

Keswick Island to go on the market