'New Airlie' will cost around $41m

An aerial view of the plan for the proposed revitalisation of popular tourist destination Airlie Beach.
An aerial view of the plan for the proposed revitalisation of popular tourist destination Airlie Beach. Contributed

A PROPOSAL to revitalise the central area of Airlie Beach to boost tourism will cost an estimated $41 million.

Whitsunday Regional Council will meet with the State Government next month to push for funding to make the project a reality.

Known as the Gateway to the Whitsundays, the main street of Airlie Beach is the focal point for tourists and locals; however, it is characterised by an outdated streetscape and inadequate infrastructure.

A team of experts has been working to create a new vision for the coastal town.

Council’s acting Mayor Rogin Taylor said the benefits of the project moving forward were immeasurable.

“A new Airlie Main Street means fresh marketing, increased visitor numbers, a major injection of money into the local economy and growth in our region for many years to come,” Cr Taylor said.

“It’s been a long time coming and after 47 previous reports and different concepts, we are going to make sure we get it right,” he said.

Council said there was a lot more to the upgrade than the visually pleasing aspects and there were still a number of major infrastructure plans to be finalised.

Whitsunday Regional Council chief executive officer, John Finlay, said there were further discussions to be held between Council and the Department of Main Roads, Ergon and other general services.

A preliminary analysis of the project’s construction costs has been undertaken by GHD Engineers and CGI Consulting for the major road works and stormwater.

A breakdown of the project as a whole is: Stormwater rectification $9.3 million; reconstruction Shute Harbour Road and new link road $22.1 million; Waterson Way intersection upgrade $2.4 million; Airlie Creek rehabilitation and boardwalk $1.6 million; Central park, cascades and dinghy basin $5.7 million; other improvements $6 million

A vision to revitalise the village has been prepared by architect Gary Hunt.

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