Conway Beach is on the mend
"PEOPLE are still coming, but it's not the same."
Conway Beach resident Tracy Crepin knows there is still a long road ahead for the iconic beach which is in need of serious repair work following Cyclone Debbie.
The category 4 cyclone uprooted a significant number of trees across the foreshore and completely destroyed the public barbecue area and toilet facilities.
Mrs Crepin said she had fond memories of the beach which she expected to see bounce back.
"We live across the road from the park and it was always full of people," she said.
"(Now) people are trying to find a tree to sit under on a nice day but there is nothing there. There were always people coming to have lunch which (also) isn't happening as much now."
Conway Beach residents were told to evacuate before the cyclone hit and were unable to access their homes for a number of days.
Fred Crepin said due to the community spirit of local champion Brad Penhallurick, they were able to return to their home earlier than expected.
"He used his own bobcat and machinery and chainsawed the roads so we could get access to the houses and he cleaned up debris in peoples yards," Mr Crepin said.
"Later, the army moved in and they were great, they would have a meeting early in the morning and went into this place like they were in a battle, they were cutting up trees and waiting for green waste people to take everything away."
Conway Beach Tourist Park owner George Pauly said Whitsunday Regional Council had kept the community consulted and was committed to restoring the beach.
"The army when they got here they cleaned it up immaculately. It's not resembling anything like it was but we have been assured by the mayor we will get a nice beach back," he said.
"Conway Beach has a lovely flat beach with all the nice barbecue areas and shade and we need to get that back."
A council spokesperson said there were still various issues which needed to be resolved.
"Council has prioritised the multiple issues caused by Cyclone Debbie and is working through them currently," the spokesperson said.
"Council has contacted an electrician and plumber to make (the) site safe and inspect at their earliest opportunity."
Mr Pauly said while Conway Beach suffered, it wasn't as badly affected as Wilson's Beach.
"Wilson's Beach was the most damaged area and the people there are still struggling to get back (on track)," he said.