Despite Whitsunday Regional Council placing a priority on Airlie Beach Lagoon repair works the facility is not expected to re-open until late August. The Lagoon suffered extensive damage from debris and sewerage overflow during Cyclone Debbie and was drained in April to allow engineers to fully assess the infrastructure including pumps. Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said that himself and councillors are very aware what a vital piece of infrastructure the Lagoon facility is for the Whitsunday Region and its recovery. “Our community has been hit hard by the effects of Cyclone Debbie and our business stakeholders have been resilient in getting back to business,” he said. “The Lagoon also copped a battering and required a detailed inspection by engineers to both assess damage and also report on normal deterioration and maintenance required. “The reports show that the structural integrity of the Airlie Beach lagoon has been compromised and it is unsafe to open to the public,” Mayor Willcox said. “The preliminary inspections have revealed structural damage, concrete cancer and drumminess of the pebblecrete which requires the entire pebblecrete surface of the lagoon to be resurfaced. “Our efforts are focused on doing the required major works simultaneously and as quickly as possible and have the Lagoon reopened to the community and visitors. “Our focus has been on delivering the required outcome in the shortest timeframe from this forced short term pain so that when the Lagoon reopens it is a renewed, safe and functional attraction for our community and visitors to our region.” Mayor Willcox said council had all hands on deck to complete the repairs and revitalisation but the major scope of works meant it would remain closed for a further 10-12 weeks. “We have been replacing and repairing pumps while awaiting the engineer’s structural assessment.”
Source: Whitsunday Regional Council.