Paving the path to a busy tourism season
COMMERCIAL boat operators were the "big winners” as the new wharf walkway was installed at Abell Point Marina last Thursday morning.
The milestone achievement was two weeks ahead of schedule, and allowed for the replacement of the temporary wharf supplied by Whitsunday Regional Council five days after Cyclone Debbie destroyed the initial walkway.
Prior to the new walkway installation, many operators had to move to the opposite side of the marina.
Abell Point Marina general manager Luke McCaul said the achievement would help foster flow-on benefits to the marina and region.
"It's basically been about four to five weeks and we got a new gangway back in action and that allows our customers to come off the dock and fuel up and means our cruise ships can start going into that arm,” he said.
"I think the commercial operators were definitely the biggest winners out of this and that is the most important thing at the moment, (which is) that they are operating and can tell the world to come back and visit the Whitsundays.”
With the new walkway complete, the marina's focus to restore all damaged berths along the pontoon will be the next step towards promoting greater confidence in the marina and broader Whitsunday region.
Mr McCaul said the milestone would make access easier for water-based commercial operators.
"It's really important for us to have that gangway in because fuel is an important service and we sell quite a lot of it,” he said.
"The biggest thanks we got was from our commercial operators because they rely on fuel to run their businesses and these guys can't just get a few jerry cans and fill their tanks up, they are taking 2000-3000 litres a day and without fuel you can't run a business.”
Mr McCaul said it was important to have the marina on track ahead of their winter trading season to send a positive message across the world.
"It's a really good sign to show with the total pontoon redevelopment that we are tracking ahead of time, which is good,” he said.
"The most important thing at the moment is that the marina arms are operating and people can come and tell the world to visit the Whitsundays.”
Two New Zealand superyachts are set to touch down in the region.
Mr McCaul said superyacht owners would have a positive message to send to the world about
the state of the Whitsundays.