YES, IT’S BACK!

The heart of Air­lie Beach re-opens today with a mighty splash

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

LA­GOON OPEN: Air­lie Beach la­goon con­struc­tion work­ers with Whit­sun­day kids Evie Her­lihy, Te­gan Hanks, Tiana Bell, Zoe Her­lihy and Ja­cob Bell and mem­bers of the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil and Cham­ber of Com­merce at the re­fur­bished la­goon.

ZOE Her­lihy was one of the lucky ones to get the jump on the crowds at the Air­lie Beach la­goon yes­ter­day.

She said swim­ming at the Can­non­vale Swim Cen­tre while the la­goon had been out of ac­tion was a poor sub­sti­tute for a dip in Air­lie’s heart.

“I am su­per ex­cited,” she said.

When the la­goon of­fi­cially opens at noon today, Zoe said she was go­ing to jump in and swim and “never hop out”.

Mayor An­drew Will­cox said it was great to see the Air­lie Beach la­goon would be open as promised today.

“Coun­cil and the con­trac­tors have pulled out all stops to have this amaz­ing com­mu­nity as­set open as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he said.

“The la­goon has been re­paired ad re­ju­ve­nated and is look­ing bet­ter than ever.

“While the la­goon is open to the pub­lic, there are still land­scap­ing and shade sail projects un­der-way and we hope to fin­ish these in the next few months,” he said.

When the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the Air­lie Beach la­goon is fully com­plete, the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil will host a com­mu­nity event to of­fi­cially cel­e­brate the re-open­ing.

Cr Will­cox was at the la­goon yes­ter­day with fel­low coun­cil­lors Jan Clif­ford and Ron Pet­ter­son, con­struc­tion work­ers and mem­bers of the Whit­sun­day Coast Cham­ber of Com­merce to make the open­ing an­nounce­ment.

“The im­por­tant fo­cus for us was ac­ti­vat­ing the la­goon area and main street precinct as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he said.

Beach Book Bou­tique owner Belinda Har­ris said the open­ing of the la­goon would bring back peo­ple to the area.

“We are very ex­cited about it,” she said.

"It will be nice to get Air­lie back to look­ing nor­mal again and gen­er­ate some foot traf­fic.

“Hope­fully open­ing will help the busi­nesses and bring some life into the town.”

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

BACK OPEN: Zoe Her­lihy gets wet at the re­vi­talised la­goon.

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