Airlie Beach playground due to open in February
A 10.5M PLAYGROUND is expected to open next month ahead of the Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation project’s completion in March.
Whitsunday Regional Councillor Jan Clifford said construction was on schedule, weather permitting, and the playground would open by the end of February.
Cr Clifford said the playground would “broaden the appeal” of the area, catering to young and older children.
“All we’ve ever had in the past catered to younger children, but there’s nothing to cater to the older children who don’t want to sit on the swings,” she said.
“At the bottom there’s a pirate ship for the younger children.
“Then there’s the Skywalk rope bridge which is all enclosed and has three different slides to choose from.”
The tunnel slides, which arrived on site this month, are made from stainless steel which transfers heat at a low rate, reducing the impact of direct heat on the playground.
Two sky cabins will add to the attraction, connected by rope bridges and a climbing net.
While the playground is built, other works will be done. Cr Clifford said Ergon Energy would complete electrical works and the dedicated carpark would be sealed in the last week of January.
She said the irrigation system would be about 60 per cent complete by the end of January, and 3m footpaths near Fairy Tree Park would be complete by the end of February.
Contractors closed the fencing around Fairy Tree Park on Tuesday and confirmed the area would remain closed to the public until the footpaths were completed.
The sound stage installation and toilet block refurbishment are yet to begin.
Work on the $6.3 million Airlie Beach Revitalisation project began in September and received a mixed response from people throughout the Whitsunday region.
Many recognised the benefits of the project, but others said it simply wasn’t necessary.
Fencing around the site has been a particular eyesore to the town, having restricted beach access for almost six months.
Cr Clifford said she understood the works had been disruptive, but “you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs”.
“What we’re doing is formalising the park, not the dust bowl that was there before,” she said.
“There wasn’t a blade of grass.
“The earth was so compacted that nothing would grow.
“It’s been very unloved for a long time.
“There was more dust than grass and I think with the formalisation of the area, it will have a lot more appeal.
“Most of the stuff you wouldn’t see. “Water and sewerage utilities have been put in underground and more power lines to service the Jubilee Pocket side of town.
“We’re going to end up with more parking, a new stage area, which will face back up the hill, lawn seating coming down and new plantings.
“Overall, everyone’s going to be really happy with it and hopefully everyone enjoys it.”
COMING SOON: Gigantic slides have arrived for the new 10.5m playground at the Airlie Beach Foreshore and no-one was more excited than Cr Jan Clifford.