From the editor's desk
WHAT will become of Chinatown?
It’s been the question on everyone’s lips since councillors voted against an extension for the development at a special meeting last week.
The man behind Whitsunday Chinatown Investment Pty Ltd, Mr Peter “Raymond” Wang has been overseas while the threads of his project have unravelled in the council boardroom.
This week, deputy mayor Andrew Willcox, whose casting vote was used to veto another extension until February 17, has explained his stance on the long-running saga to date.
Some people undoubtedly blame Cr Willcox for what they see as voting down a $300 million development.
Some blame mayor Jennifer Whitney for stepping out of the decision-making process because of a “perceived” conflict of interest.
Others think the right decision was made at the council table last week, with nothing tangible to show for the project in over seven months.
Some people didn’t want a Chinatown in Airlie Beach, while others were desperately advocating for the jobs and economic prosperity they hoped it would bring.
So who is right and who is wrong and what will happen next?
Council’s lawyers have no doubt started proceedings to terminate the contract with WCI and there’s an expectation the land on Waterson Way will be put out to tender again.
Will Mr Wang re-apply? Would he want to given what has occurred? Are there other developers waiting in the wings?
It’s going to be an interesting few weeks.