Tradies jump on board for Whitsunday rebuild
AN ARMY of tradies is being ferried in and out of the Whitsundays as the region doubles down on its rebuild efforts.
At least two boatloads of contracted labourers depart the Port of Airlie Harbour at 6.30am each day and return at 5pm as part of the post-Cyclone Debbie effort.
The category four cyclone cut a swathe through Hamilton Island when it hit on March 28 and destroyed privately owned homes and luxury resorts.
Painter Brian Fleming said the rebuild effort was at full strength.
“It was quite a shock when we initially went back to the island, but it’s all full strength here trying to get it back to what it was,” he said.
“The doors are going back in, the gardens are being cleaned up. It’s starting to look like a resort again.”
The Airlie Beach-based tradesman has worked on Hamilton Island for more than a decade and said it could take up to a year for all damage to be repaired.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan praised the tradespeople and said it was important to get the tourism destination back in operation.
“It’s quite amazing to see all these men and women on the tools, crossing the Whitsundays Passage twice a day in rebuilding our much-vaunted tourist industry,” he said.
“The work they are undertaking is uplifting.”
Hamilton Island reopened a week after the cyclone hit and luxury resort Qualia is expected to reopen July 1.
HAMMERING IT HOME: Tradies board ferries bound for the Whitsunday Islands to continue construction.