La­goon re-open­ing date still months away

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Inge Hansen inge.hansen@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

THE Air­lie Beach la­goon will not be open for two of the re­gion‘s big­gest events with Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil an­nounc­ing re­pairs would not be com­plete un­til late Au­gust.

The Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val pre­vi­ously used the la­goon for its Re­cy­clable Re­gatta and Air­lie Beach Race Week is an­other of the two ma­jor events held in early Au­gust that reel in an abun­dance of tourists to the re­gion. The la­goon build­ings and struc­ture were sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged when Cy­clone Deb­bie crossed the re­gion on March 28.

On the night of March 29 sewage from the Can­non­vale pump sta­tion and nearby toi­lets over­flowed into the pool.

Af­ter it was drained, how­ever, fur­ther is­sues such as con­crete cancer were dis­cov­ered.

Mayor Andrew Will­cox said re­cent re­ports showed the struc­tural in­tegrity of the la­goon had been com­pro­mised and it was there­fore un­safe to open to the pub­lic.

Face­book users ex­pressed their frus­tra­tion in­clud­ing Michelle Baker who be­lieved smaller tasks could wait.

“Maybe the starfish round bout should wait.” she said.

Oth­ers be­lieved it was not a quick fix: “$400k of re­pairs needed, in­clud­ing con­crete cancer, who is kid­ding who with the Au­gust date­line?” Peter Clarke wrote.

PHOTO: INGE HANSEN

LENGTHY WAIT: The Air­lie Beach La­goon has been closed since Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie hit.

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