Strong voices ad­vo­cate for re­gion

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY - SHARON SMALLWOOD Edi­tor

EVER since we started to re­build in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie, we have been faced with a del­i­cate bal­ance of im­por­tant is­sues.

Air­lie Beach in par­tic­u­lar is a town based on tourism, re­sult­ing in the man­age­ment of con­flict­ing mes­sages in a time of des­per­ate need.

The tourism in­dus­try, on which so many peo­ple’s liveli­hoods rely, was anx­ious for an ‘open for busi­ness’ mes­sage to be broad­cast as soon as hu­manly pos­si­ble post March 28.

But at the same time there are other peo­ple re­liant on other in­dus­tries and, of course, many whose homes and busi­nesses have taken severe losses or worse.

How do you bal­ance the needs of all in such dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances?

These have been some of the chal­lenges faced by our mayor, in­dus­try lead­ers, tourism body and more.

Mean­while, the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments have been mak­ing pots of money avail­able to aid in the cy­clone re­cov­ery of re­gions af­fected Queens­land-wide.

I think we are lucky to have had such strong ad­vo­cates in our mayor An­drew Will­cox and Tourism Whit­sun­days chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Turner.

Thanks to their ef­forts, a lot of tourism-re­lated money at least will hope­fully be com­ing our way.

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