Mayor looks forward to 'good times ahead'
THE dust is still settling two years on from one of the biggest cyclones in Australia's history, and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox says it has been a balancing act for him ever since.
He said he walks a fine line between showing the country the Whitsundays is open for business, but also showing the State and Federal governments how damaged the region was, in order to receive assistance to help with rebuilding the community.
"We've got to realise what we're dealing with in its enormity,” he said.
"For how well we've bounced back has been truly remarkable.”
He said it was "never quick enough” for everyone, as the region had tried to rebuild as fast as it could, with the resources it had.
He said he knows that tourism has been down since TC Debbie, but he hoped the reopening of Daydream and Hayman islands changed the landscape.
Looking back, his number one priority was to make sure everyone was safe.
Cr Willcox is looking ahead now, and he laments media outlets that constantly rehash old footage of Tropical Cyclone Debbie every time there is a storm in the region.
He acknowledges that people are still working through long-overdue insurance claims and said they were not alone.
"You've just got to hang in there,” he said.
"I'm still sorting out my personal insurance on my house.
"I haven't got a silver bullet for everyone, but my advice is to keep plugging away.
"There's good times ahead for all of us.”