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$50 million project

An artist's impression of the water feature and roundabout at the corner of Shute Harbour Road and the Esplanade.
An artist's impression of the water feature and roundabout at the corner of Shute Harbour Road and the Esplanade.

THE upgrade of Airlie’s main street is a $50 million project but there is no money in the Whitsunday Regional Council’s annual budget for the 2010/2011 financial year.

The budget was adopted by Council at a meeting in Bowen yesterday.

Last week, Council’s Director of Transport and Infrastructure, Gary Martin, told an Enterprise Whitsundays After Hours Forum that the time frame for the Main Street project would be guided by funding.

He said it had economics impacts at local, state and federal level.

However, he said an application for $17 million to the Federal Government to get the project started had been unsuccessful. Council is now preparing a document to support any future funding applications and said that was expected to be completed in about three weeks.

A spokesperson for Council said yesterday that Council would endeavour to secure funding and really highlight the problems with the Airlie Main Street.

"We are confident we can secure some funding and are not looking to introduce levies or increase rates," the spokespersopn said.

At last week’s meeting, Mr Martin said the project was about revitalising the heart of the town.

"Airlie needs to become a destination in its own right," he said.

"It has long been recognised as the gateway to the Whitsunday islands."

The plans unveiled at the meeting showing there would be a roundabout at the corner of Waterson Way near the Esplanade but there would be no linkage at that corner to continue from the main street along Shute Harbour Road.

Under the plan, through traffic would be discouraged through the main part of the main street and features would include a multi-storey carpark behind the main street, water features and green pockets.


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