Pontoon restoration set to power ahead
These are the words which should be on the lips of tourists and boat operators as they enter the Whitsundays and Abell Point Marina with the winter season set to fire up.
While 100 Abell Point marina berths were affected by the category 4 system, the plan to restore all berths is on track for completion in July, well ahead of schedule, according to Abell Point marina general manager Luke McCaul.
"We've totally taken away and demolished the 100 berths that were affected,” he said.
"Everything has been taken away and the barges are going back to Townsville where they will start to bring down the piles and start piling within two weeks time.
"That's another great thing because so many other marinas in the region are still looking at their recovery plans but we are ready to start reconstructing.”
This follows the successful installation of the marina walkway which was also two weeks ahead of schedule.
Mr McCaul said initial concerns about business during the winter season had been resolved and operators and tourists would notice the Whitsundays was still standing strong.
"By the end of May we will start to put the main arms of the village (H,K and J arm) which is the feeder for most commercial operators,” he said.
"And by mid-July we will have 100 berths totally replaced which gives us the ability for commercial operators to go back to normal.
"To have those berths back in action is crucial for us, it saves this season but also saves the next couple of seasons (going forward).
This follows the successful installation of the new marina walkway two weeks ahead of schedule.
Mr McCaul said having operations up and running in time for peak seasons was crucial in terms of stimulating the local economy.
"Every berth is like a room in a hotel, they bring people and when you are totally full with 500 boats you are talking about a 2000 people hotel here,” he said.
"If we aren't ready to accept those bookings then 2000 people aren't going to go into town and have dinner and have a beer or have their hair done or go down to the bakery.
"We know there are still a few businesses recovering along the Main Street, so if we can inject them as part of our business that's good.”
Over 500 berth sites will be available at Abell Point Marina catering for vessels ranging between 12-60 metres.