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Progress at Whitsunday Shopping Centre

IT’S been just over a week since fire tore through the Whitsunday Shopping Centre, but already recovery works are progressing.

This morning saw Buck’s Seafood and The Reject Shop, the two businesses closest to the destroyed structure, reopen their doors.

Knight Frank regional manager Jason Barrett said Hungry Jacks was also close to welcoming back customers.

“Hungry Jacks is ready to trade, they’re just doing some final restocking and checking all their food safety,” he said.

With many residents near the site being forced to detour through Jones Rd, Mr Barrett said Island Dr would “reopen as soon as it is safe to do so”.

As for concerns about health risks for these nearby residents, Mr Barrett said they had ensured the utmost care was taken.

“We had what’s called an occupational hygienist attend the site immediately as it was safe to do so,” he said.

“They did all manner of testing both inside the tenancy and on the building surfaces.

“The tests are still to come back from the lab, but we had to clean down all the external surfaces, which we did across the course of Wednesday and Thursday, then we built that very large corrugated iron sheeting.

“That was all done under the direction of the hygienist.”

Mr Barrett said it was too early to talk about the exact details of the rebuild.

“(But) we’ve had building consultants and contractors starting to look at what opportunities there are on the site,” he said.

So far as the cause of the blaze is concerned, with police finding no foul play, Mr Barrett said it was “an insurance matter now”.

In closing, Mr Barrett commended the work of our local contractors.

“There are local contractors that have been on that site for eight days straight, working around the clock on the electric system, the fire protection system and the general clean up on site,”

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