Residents battle with main street dust

DONE AND DUSTED: Chris and Cherie O'Reilly have been living on top of the Airlie main street reconstruction works for the past nine months and say they have reached a point where "enough is enough" when it comes to dirt, dust and a lack of acknowledgment from Council.
DONE AND DUSTED: Chris and Cherie O'Reilly have been living on top of the Airlie main street reconstruction works for the past nine months and say they have reached a point where "enough is enough" when it comes to dirt, dust and a lack of acknowledgment from Council.

LIVING in a unit at the junction of Airlie Crescent, Begley Street and Waterson Way has turned into a nightmare for Cherie and Chris O'Reilly who have more than a ringside seat over Airlie's main street upgrade works.

Noise, vibrations and a constant battle with dirt and dust are just some of the issues affecting the O'Reillys on a daily basis for the past eight months.

Mrs O'Reilly said that back in February, when the main street upgrade started, the couple contacted Whitsunday Regional Council asking to be kept informed.

"We all paid big dollars for our apartments when we bought them so as owners we wanted a bit more information. We requested meetings but there was no response - nothing," she said.

In July, the situation escalated when a council-owned garden bed at the front of the apartment block was bulldozed to conform with a re-design of Airlie Crescent leaving the properties further exposed to passing traffic and construction dirt and dust.

Mrs O'Reilly said when water bills for the complex doubled the couple felt compelled to write to the mayor, but still received no formal response.

Mayor Jennifer Whitney finally met the O'Reillys at a meeting between Council and main street business owners last week. She said she was aware of the situation but had been led to believe the problems were being dealt with.

"They've got lots of questions - what we have to do is collate all the responses, put it in writing and look at what the most pressing issues are so we can get some solutions," Cr Whitney said.

Probuild Civil's project manager Alistair Neale also said he was aware of the issues the O'Reillys' faced.

"It [the upgrade] is a big inconvenience and we understand that. We do our best to keep the dust down and the good news on the horizon is that next week a large part of Waterson Way will be sealed and we aim to turf and grass some areas shortly afterwards to at least cut down the areas of exposed dust," Mr Neale said.

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