As the Whitsundays looks to the light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, many are looking to the projects that could help the region fight its way to the other side.
We have compiled a list of 16 projects in the Whitsundays which are ongoing, proposed or ready to start which could help kickstart the regions’s recovery.
PROSERPINE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
Construction works are moving ahead for Whitsunday Regional Council’s $9.6 million administration building in Proserpine.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the new building would house about 120 council staff and would include the regional Disaster Coordination Centre and a Climate Change Innovation Hub.
“The former Proserpine administration building and chambers were demolished last year after being badly damaged during Tropical Cyclone Debbie,” Mayor Willcox said. READ HERE.
PROSERPINE PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
Proserpine State High School students could soon have their name in lights headlining the best orchestras, theatres and ballets in the state.
The Proserpine Performing Arts Centre will have the latest modern facilities in drama and dance, opening up to a fully-functional theatre and completed by amenities, dressing rooms, media editing spaces and instrumental music rooms.
The performing arts centre will also seat 300 people and include a music classroom and instrumental music classroom, a green screen room and control room, as well as storage rooms, dressing rooms, foyer and kiosk. READ HERE.
Upgrades along Proserpine-Shute Harbour Rd and the Bruce Highway will soon become a reality as part of a $400 million COVID-19 roads package announced yesterday.
The upgrades include a $13 million Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road duplication and intersection upgrade between Valley Dve and Tropic Rd and $50 million Bruce Highway safety upgrades between Mackay and Proserpine.
The upgrades will also provide 115 jobs for the region. READ HERE.
Overtaking lanes between Bowen and Home Hill will now be brought to fruition a year sooner than planned, after it was confirmed the construction works had been fast-tracked.
The Bruce Highway lanes were slated as starting in 2022-23 by the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.
But the State Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, confirmed construction will now start next year. READ HERE.
PROSERPINE 360 PLANETARIUM AND CINEMA CENTRE
Plans for a new planetarium and cinema centre in Proserpine have been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
However, one of the identities behind the well-anticipated project says he’s optimistic about completing it in the future.
Owner of the building and director of the Proserpine 360 Planetarium and Cinema Centre, Ron Harris, said the complex was planned to include a cafe and cocktail bar, a “family friendly arcade games” and an 8m and 5m dome planetarium as part of the overall concept of a family-oriented entertainment centre. READ HERE.
A billion dollar development promising jobs, highway upgrades and a new water supply is on the horizon for Bowen, with the Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman urging the community to support it.
The proposed $1.1 billion Whitsunday Paradise development is proposing a 10 stage development over two decades, building 1756 residential allotments, 340 units, 47 townhouses, an AFL field and a service centre – all constructed just 10km from Bowen.
The development will also see $40 million spent on “immediate upgrades to the Bruce Highway and Bowen’s water and sewer infrastructure”. READ HERE.
RACING TRACK UPGRADES
Go-karting is already quite sweaty work, but adding full sun and high levels of humidity turn this adrenaline sport into an uncomfortable undertaking.
Luckily, those with a need for speed will be able to hit the track at much more reasonable temperatures thanks to the planned installation of lights at the Whitsunday Moto Sports Club.
The $480,000 project will mean events and training can take place in the late afternoon and evening to avoid peak heat. READ HERE.
SHUTE HARBOUR MARINA RESORT
A progress update has been given on the Shute Harbour Marina Resort project, which proponents say will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for people cruising around the Whitsundays.
The $252m development is set to include a 395-berth marina, a 100-room hotel, a commercial, retail and dining precinct, 58 managed resort dwellings with private marina berths, and a retirement resort comprising 70 apartments and club facilities. READ HERE.
PROSERPINE MAIN ST
A stop in Proserpine will be hard to resist as works continue on the $3.8 million Main Street upgrade, complete with a new entry sign and road surface art.
The upgrade to footpaths, landscaping, street furniture and signage are well underway with hopes the facelift will reinvigorate the central hub of Proserpine and draw more visitors.
A new entry sign will welcome tourists off the Bruce Highway and a ‘Barra’ theme will later adorn Dobbins Lane with road art and lighting. READ HERE.
SHUTE HARBOUR REBUILD
Activity started at the Shute Harbour Terminal in January for the reconstruction of the multi-million dollar facility.
The $54.5 million restoration project will see a complete rebuild of the seawall, terminal, pontoons and carpark at the Shute Harbour marine facility, which was destroyed by Cyclone Debbie almost three years ago.
The $35 million construction tender for the rebuild of Shute Harbour terminal and seawall was awarded to Vassallo Constructions Pty Ltd in November. READ HERE.
Flagstaff Hill is one step closer to becoming the home to Bowen’s new Conference and Cultural Centre, with a $3 million construction tender for the project awarded to Beep Beep Pty Ltd, trading as Richardson’s Building Service.
The long-awaited development will be used by the Girudala Community Cooperative Society to promote indigenous tourism activities.
Previously, Girudala Community Cooperative Society operated the 360 On Flagstaff Cafe, which was devastated in Cyclone Debbie. READ HERE.
FUNNEL BAY RESORT
An incredible tourism attraction is being developed in the heart of the Whitsundays.
Developers have taken an interest in the paradise that is Funnel Bay, a secluded getaway near Airlie Beach.
Plans for a six star hotel have been in the works for the past 12 months but now, with approval from Whitsunday Regional Council, construction can begin. READ HERE.
An Airlie Beach icon could soon be making a return after a decade hiatus – but this time with a fresh new look and feel.
Whitsunday Regional Council last week approved a development application for a 54 bungalow tourist park and food and drink outlet on Pandanus Dr, Cannonvale.
The material change of use application and development application was initially made to council in November, which included a detailed plan for what will be known as Reefo’s Resort. READ HERE.
A major water scheme set to deliver hundreds of jobs to the region has been elevated to the status of “most advanced dam project” in the state.
The game-changing project has the potential to create up to 1200 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 675 full-time jobs once operational.
It would deliver a new dam on Broken River, with a capacity of up to 1.5 million megalitres, as well as a water pipeline network and an irrigated precinct for high value agriculture. READ HERE.
COLLINSVILLE POWER STATION
Collinsville residents say a proposed coal-fired power station would give the town a new lease on life by boosting opportunities, creating jobs and bringing in more money and people.
The Federal Government has signed off on a feasibility study, costing up to $4 million, for the coal-fired power station as part of a bid to lower power prices. READ HERE.
A potentially game-changing Airlie Beach tourist project could soon be built, creating jobs, more tourist opportunities and undoubtedly the best view in the Whitsundays.
The Whitsunday Skyway is a proposed cable-car project which would link the main street of Airlie Beach with a nearby unnamed 430-metre-high peak in the Conway Ranges.
The cable-car would leave from a block of land on Waterson Way, behind Magnum’s Backpackers, with the summit overlooking Airlie Beach, the Coral Sea and nearby Whitsunday Islands.
Source: Whitsunday Times.