Future bleak for Shute Harbour

Paul McIlvride fears that Shute Harbour will turn into a ghost town with ferry services moving into Airlie Beach.
Paul McIlvride fears that Shute Harbour will turn into a ghost town with ferry services moving into Airlie Beach.

PAUL McIlvride fears that the Shute Harbour Transit Facility is dying a slow death.

Mr McIlvride is the Managing Director of Whitsunday Parking who operates Shute Harbour parking and storage.

He is concerned that with more ferry services moving from Shute Harbour to Abel Point, and in time, Port of Airlie, the Shute Harbour Transit Facility will become a “ghost town.”

But it is not just the negative impact on his business that Mr McIlvride is concerned about.

He said that the frustration he hears from tourists about parking and other issues in the Whitsundays will have a negative effect on tourism.

“The facilities at Abel Point are less than satisfactory and even with Shute Harbour's ageing facilities, it is still a purpose built ferry terminal and should be being fully utilised,” he said.

“We would like to see ferry services returned to Shute Harbour because that is what it was built for.

“We can't let Shute Harbour Transit Facility disappear off the map.”

Mr McIlvride said parking issues that existed for boat users and ferry passengers at Abel Point were less of a problem at Shute Harbour.

“The existing boat ramp at Shute Harbour, whilst very busy, does provide an alternative to the Abel Point boat ramp and we do have adequate parking for $3 per day for vehicles with trailers,” he said.

Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker said the future of Shute Harbour Transit Facility was an issue for Council and that they were working on ways to help rejuvenate the facility.

“There are some plans for a development out there and we will have a look at that when it comes to Council,” he said.

“It is important that we have a facility there. Council is certainly committed to Shute Harbour.”

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