Tradies jump on board for Whit­sun­day re­build

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Madura McCor­mack

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.

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