Centre demolition a first step to new beginnings
CHARRED, twisted chunks of metal and an ever-growing pile of rubble are all that remain of the nine business premises burnt down in the Whitsunday Shopping Centre fire.
But while the demolition site is a stark and constant reminder of the devastating incident it also represents an important first step on the road to recovery for the community. In this week’s Whitsunday
Times we bring you all the latest photos and news on:
Progress at the site
Businesses open for trade
The people most affected by the fire and how you can continue to help.
Plus renewed calls for a 24/7 fire service for the Whitsundays.
“We’ve had building consultants and contractors starting to look at what opportunities there are on the site.” – Jason Barrett
IT HAS been less than two weeks since fire tore through the Whitsunday Shopping Centre, but already recovery works are progressing.
Most businesses in the centre resumed trading on Saturday, while the two busi- nesses closest to the blaze – The Reject Shop and Buck’s Seafood – opened on Monday.
With many residents near the site being forced to detour through Jones Rd, Knight Frank regional manager Jason Barrett said Island Dr would “reopen as soon as it is safe to do so” and had in fact partially opened at the time of going to press.
The closure has also rendered the Whitsunday Transit bus service unable to access its regular stop at the shopping centre. Customers are advised to instead use nearby stops at Club Croc or Stewart Dr.
As for concerns about health risks for nearby residents, Mr Barrett said the utmost care had been taken to
PICTURED: The remains
of a section of the Whitsunday Shopping Centre that was destroyed by fire.
PROGRESS ON SITE: Demolition of the gutted building is well under way.
Photos: Sharon Smallwood / Karina Shim / Alan Maher. Aerial photo thanks to Helitaxi.com