Blank canvas for ‘heart’ of our town
IT WAS a part of the Airlie Beach main street upgrade that never seemed quite complete, but behind the scenes there have always been grand plans for the wall by the starfish roundabout in Airlie Beach.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said two budgets ago, the council allocated $100,000 for each of the region’s townships, to be spent on creating entry statements identifying the communities.
In Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday chapter of international tourism organisation SKAL had been working hard on promoting the town as the “heart of the reef”.
SKAL president Carolyn Upton said having already branded billboards, bottled water, wine and retail merchandise, the wall below Airlie Crescent was “just reinforcing all of that but on a much bigger canvas than we’ve done before”.
While a water feature was initially part of the plan, $100k wouldn’t be enough, so Ms Upton said SKAL had resolved to move forward with the project in three stages.
“And we can deliver part one,” she said, adding it would be predominantly landscaping, with hanging vines to “green” the wall on either side and the centre-piece to replicate colourful coral bommies and of course incorporate the “heart” of the reef.
Ms Upton said SKAL had signed a memorandum of understanding with Council at the end of 2015 and hoped to deliver stage one in nine months. Cr Whitney said no doubt the end result would be “magnificent and befitting to the area” and Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford said she felt it would be embraced by all.
GRAND PLANS: SKAL Whitsunday president Carolyn Upton and vice-president Kim Crossley, with Whitsunday Mayor Jennifer Whitney and Division 1 Councillor Jan Clifford, in front of what will become an entry statement for Airlie Beach.