Air­lie Beach play­ground due to open in Fe­bru­ary

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Clau­dia Alp clau­[email protected]­sun­day­times.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: CLAU­DIA ALP

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.

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