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Push for main street upgrade

Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt, State tourism minister Peter Lawlor and Tourism Whitsundays CEO Peter O'Reilly at Waterline on Shingley on Tuesday to chat with community members.
Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt, State tourism minister Peter Lawlor and Tourism Whitsundays CEO Peter O'Reilly at Waterline on Shingley on Tuesday to chat with community members.

ENTERPRISE Whitsundays' chief executive Andrei Koeppen has been taking every opportunity this week to get the Airlie Beach main street development proposal off the ground.

With the State Government's Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor and the State Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek both in town this week, he took the chance to show the Ministers the hard-copy vision for the Airlie Beach CBD.

Mr Koeppen took the proposal to a business information forum in Bowen on Wednesday night to show Mr Lawlor and the Bowen business people the town's vision.

Mr Lawlor had been in town for a two-day stint to talk one-on-one with local tourism operators.

He said he was taking ever opportunity to help with getting the main street revitalisation plan through government.

“The main street upgrade is critical,” he said.

“It's a great idea and it's important that it gets done.

“I think if we can pull this off, it's a great thing for the community.”

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly said Mr Lawlor was already very supportive of the main street vision.

He said Mr Lawlor would be doing his absolute best to get some funding from the next State budget.

Yesterday, Mr Koeppen met with Opposition Leader Mr Langbroek, who was visiting regional areas in North Queensland.

Mr Koeppen said it couldn't hurt for Mr Langbroek to be acquainted with the main street idea.

“I am presenting the vision to acquaint the opposition with what the plans are,” he said.

Mr Langbroek was shocked by the drop in tourism numbers in the area and said it was “staggering” to see that sort of decline.

Still 18 months out from the next election, Mr Langbroek said the purpose of his visit was to talk to people on the ground in regional areas and to give them “hope of a better future”.

Shadow Housing and Community Services Minister Rosemary Menkens has also been on the regional circuit this week finding out first-hand what people in North Queensland need.


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