From the editor's desk
2013 is coming to an end and it has certainly been an interesting year for the Whitsundays.
The financial woes of the Whitsunday Regional Council have certainly dominated the news and that situation hasn’t gone away just yet.
One of the main changes for ratepayers was the decision to introduce a tariff system for the charging of water.
Ratepayers should have more of an idea of that cost when they receive their water rates notices which are expected to be sent in January.
In other news this year, Proserpine State High School celebrated its 50th anniversary in June with hundreds of people returning to the area for the celebrations. The Airlie main street upgrade was finally finished in September after more than 12 months of construction.
In October, Hamilton Island owners Bob and Sandy Oatley officially challenged for the next America’s Cup.
In November, the inaugral Airlie Beach Music Festival was enjoyed by thousands of people including many visitors to the area.
The other big news in November was the announcement that Tiger Airways will be introducing direct flights between Sydney and Proserpine from April next year.
This will be the first time there has been direct flights since 2008 when both Jetstar and Virgin stopped those routes.
The big news earlier this month was that Environment Minister Greg Hunt gave the green light to the expansion of Abbott Point north of Bowen.
This was met with mixed reaction as many local tourism operators are very concerned about the damage to the Great Barrier Reef from dredging.
With Christmas less than a week away, it is pleasing to report that local tourism operators are expecting a busy holiday season. This is the final edition of the Whitsun
day Times for the year. There will be no paper next week as it is Boxing Day but publishing will resume as normal on January 2. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers, advertisers and contributors and we look forward to working with you all again in 2014.