Luke McCaul is determined to learn from the lessons of the past and share that knowledge with the Whitsunday marine community.
When Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast at Airlie Beach, the Abell Point Marina manager was ready to implement his internal disaster management plan.
But it soon became evident there was a hitch.
His plan was developed in isolation, when a holistic approach was needed.
That is why last week Mr McCaul convened a meeting of representatives from not just the local marine industry, but insurance and government sectors as well.
A new working group has now been formed, determined to develop a new marine plan, with the ultimate aim of safeguarding the Whitsundays’ marine assets, recognising both their economic benefit to the region and the unique nature of the marine tourism industry.
Mr McCaul said one of the points that really resonated for him was the need for the region to have a new story to tell – particularly for the insurance industry.
“As a region we need to take responsibility for our actions and getting ourselves back to business and hopefully that starts to reduce our risk,” he said.
Tourism Whitsundays chairman Al Grundy and vice-president of the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, said while he recognised and respected the council’s local disaster management plan, “it’s clearly evident that the marine industry here is unique”.
“That’s why it’s so critical to our economic integrity that we have a dedicated marine plan that is either closely aligned with or becomes a component of the local disaster management plan. The group will meet again in May.”
Source: Whitsunday Times.