Whit­sun­days mends but rentals in ‘cri­sis’

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - — Dane Lilling­stone

RENTAL ac­com­mo­da­tion for some Whit­sun­day work­ers is a big prob­lem af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie.

That’s the opin­ion of busi­ness owner Kev Collins, who said it had reached “cri­sis” point.

Mr Collins asked Whit­sun­day Mayor An­drew Will­cox at a re­cent Whit­sun­day Coast Cham­ber of Com­merce break­fast how the re­gion could ac­com­mo­date a huge in­flux of work­ers.

“There are still two ma­jor con­struc­tion work crews to come to town,” he said.

“Al­ready (we’re in) al­most a cri­sis in avail­able rental ac­com­mo­da­tion for hos­pi­tal­ity staff.

“The work crews are com­ing to work be­fore the end of year. They will need some­where to stay.”

Mr Collins said his hos­pi­tal­ity staff had strug­gled to lock down per­ma­nent ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Cr Will­cox said they had “ear­marked” sites but it was a bal­anc­ing act and they would be happy to talk to any in­com­ing crews to work some­thing out.

The mayor spoke at the break­fast to give an up­date on how the re­gion was re­cov­er­ing af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie.

He said the coun­cil had been “ham­strung” over the in­sur­ance process and hoped to use any fu­ture fund­ing to not only fix up Shute Har­bour and the Air­lie Beach fore­shore but also for bet­ter­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion that we need for our area is huge,” Cr Will­cox said while speak­ing about the tasks of clean­ing up green waste and ero­sion.

“We’ve also still got aban­doned boats from Shute Har­bour to Bowen.

“We still have is­sues and still have a lot of work to do.” Busi­ness own­ers wanted to know what was hap­pen­ing with the Air­lie Beach la­goon.

Cr Will­cox said they were hop­ing to com­plete re­pairs by the end of Au­gust.

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