Paving the path to a busy tourism sea­son

Whitsunday Times - - LIFE -

COM­MER­CIAL boat op­er­a­tors were the “big win­ners” as the new wharf walk­way was in­stalled at Abell Point Ma­rina last Thurs­day morn­ing.

The mile­stone achieve­ment was two weeks ahead of sched­ule, and al­lowed for the re­place­ment of the tem­po­rary wharf sup­plied by Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil five days af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie de­stroyed the ini­tial walk­way.

Prior to the new walk­way in­stal­la­tion, many op­er­a­tors had to move to the op­po­site side of the ma­rina.

Abell Point Ma­rina gen­eral man­ager Luke McCaul said the achieve­ment would help foster flow-on ben­e­fits to the ma­rina and re­gion.

“It’s ba­si­cally been about four to five weeks and we got a new gang­way back in ac­tion and that al­lows our cus­tomers to come off the dock and fuel up and means our cruise ships can start go­ing into that arm,” he said.

“I think the com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors were def­i­nitely the big­gest win­ners out of this and that is the most im­por­tant thing at the mo­ment, (which is) that they are op­er­at­ing and can tell the world to come back and visit the Whit­sun­days.”

With the new walk­way com­plete, the ma­rina’s fo­cus to re­store all dam­aged berths along the pon­toon will be the next step to­wards pro­mot­ing greater con­fi­dence in the ma­rina and broader Whit­sun­day re­gion.

Mr McCaul said the mile­stone would make ac­cess eas­ier for wa­ter-based com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for us to have that gang­way in be­cause fuel is an im­por­tant ser­vice and we sell quite a lot of it,” he said.

“The big­gest thanks we got was from our com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors be­cause they rely on fuel to run their busi­nesses and these guys can’t just get a few jerry cans and fill their tanks up, they are taking 2000-3000 litres a day and with­out fuel you can’t run a busi­ness.”

Mr McCaul said it was im­por­tant to have the ma­rina on track ahead of their win­ter trad­ing sea­son to send a pos­i­tive mes­sage across the world.

“It’s a re­ally good sign to show with the to­tal pon­toon re­de­vel­op­ment that we are track­ing ahead of time, which is good,” he said.

“The most im­por­tant thing at the mo­ment is that the ma­rina arms are op­er­at­ing and peo­ple can come and tell the world to visit the Whit­sun­days.”

Two New Zealand su­pery­achts are set to touch down in the re­gion.

Mr McCaul said su­pery­acht own­ers would have a pos­i­tive mes­sage to send to the world about the state of the Whit­sun­days.

MOV­ING FOR­WARD: The walk­way to Abell Point Ma­rina’s pon­toons was in­stalled last week, two weeks ear­lier than ex­pected.

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