FAMILY: Reef and Jett Brookes with grandfather Mark Cooper, who wants to see more water-based activities on the foreshore.
FAMILY: Reef and Jett Brookes with grandfather Mark Cooper, who wants to see more water-based activities on the foreshore. Jacob Wilson

Foreshore plan rests on proviso

OPINIONS are divided on the Save Our Foreshore push to redevelop the Airlie Beach lagoon carpark behind Heart Hotel into green parkland.

Airlie Beach resident Mel Brookes said people employed in the area relied on the car park.

"There isn't enough parking as it is so getting rid of it would be silly,” she said.

Fiona Van Blarcom posted her support on Facebook as long as parking wasn't an issue.

"Couldn't agree more, it should be a continuation of the foreshore park. Having said that, and as someone who works in the main street, we need some free all day parking,” she wrote.

But SOF president Suzette Pelt rejected parking concerns.

"There are over 1000 car parks in Airlie including from Port of Airlie through to the lagoon park on the opposite end - the alternative carpark argument is dead,” she said.

The debate fired up after Whitsunday Regional Council announced it would be consulting the community on an Airlie Foreshore Revitalisation Master Plan.

Council committed to funding road and parking upgrades near the Whitsunday Sailing Club and establishing a bus turn-around area.

Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox said there would be more to come.

"The Master Plan will look at the public areas between the Lagoon and Port of Airlie, and will take into account future use of these areas, event spaces, improved facilities and creating a consistent 'look' across the whole foreshore area,” he said.

Mark Cooper, who visits Airlie Beach every two months to see his grandkids, said the foreshore would be complete with a water park.

"The lagoon has no facilities for kids, there is a small kids pool but as far as the money spent on Bowen and Townsville for their water park, we don't have one,” he said, adding "that's what is missing (at) the foreshore”.

Mr Cooper said a potential compromise at the lagoon would be for half the carpark to be converted to parkland. The SOF plan would allow an easement for disabled parking and emergency access.


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