Council makes life cruisier for tourism volunteers
TOURISTS and cruise ship volunteers have benefited from a generous boost from Whitsunday Regional Council.
Mayor Andrew Willcox met with Airlie Beach Cruise Ship Ambassadors on Monday at Abell Point Marina to hand over about 30 parking permits and 12 chairs.
Co-ordinator and volunteer for Airlie Beach Cruise Ship Ambassadors Brian Richardson said the chairs would be beneficial to those who needed a break while waiting to board the cruise ships.
“Sometimes people have injuries or they’re at an age when they need a rest,” he said.
“It’s good for them to have some chairs available for them to sit on and wait to jump back on board (the ships).”
The chairs are stationed at Abell Point Marina and put on the decks when visiting cruise ships arrive.
Mr Richardson said the council provided the parking permits to be used when cruise ships were in so volunteers could park in the council car parks during their shifts.
“Most of the ambassadors do a three-hour stint at a time so they shouldn’t have to worry about using public transport,” he said.
“Now they don’t have to pay for parking and you shouldn’t have to when you’re volunteering for the cruise ships.”
As the volunteers give up their time to help out, Mr Willcox said it made sense to provide permits as they should not have to pay for parking when they volunteered.
“You can’t really charge them when they’re volunteering to show people around this beautiful location,” he said.
“Some of the people who come in on the cruise ships that we’ve spoken to have said how the ambassadors are a highlight of their trip because they’re so helpful.”
Mr Willcox said the volunteers were “very happy” and “very grateful” to receive the chairs and permits.
“For the amount of work they do and to be happy to receive some chairs, which aren’t even for them but to provide to tourists, it shows just how selfless they are.
“It’s a marvellous thing for the whole community and we’re grateful for the great job they do because they really are outstanding.”
Mr Richardson said it was “good to see” council recognised the need for chairs and parking permits.
To volunteer to be an ambassador, phone Brian Richardson 0400 985 760 or visit air lie beach ambassadors. wordpress.com.
CONTRIBUTION: Cruise Ship Ambassador Gay Bowden, Cr Andrew Willcox, Cruise Ship Ambassador Brian Richardson, Cr Jan Clifford and Cruise Ship Ambassador Peter Payne at Abell Point Marina on Monday receiving the 12 chairs and parking permits.