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‘We will pull together to support fire victims’

WHITSUNDAY Mayor Andrew Willcox has extended his sympathies to the shop owners and staff affected by the fire that destroyed businesses in the Whitsunday Shopping Centre.

“On behalf of the councillors and staff at Whitsunday Regional Council, I would like to extend our thoughts and sympathies to all those business owners, staff and members of the community affected by the devastating fire at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre,” Cr Willcox said.

“The full impact of the fire may not yet be known, but I’m confident that our community will pull together and support those affected by this tragedy.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous effort of the emergency services crews who responded to the fire, including our local teams from Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen, who were supported by resources from Mackay.”

Cr Willcox, who inspected the site this morning alongside council’s Acting CEO Barry Omundson said council would assist in any way it could.

“Investigations into the cause of the fire commenced earlier today, and council’s building and plumbing team are assisting the Queensland Police Service in carrying out those investigations,” he said.

Meanwhile Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan surveyed the site after being briefed by Superintendent Bruce McNab from the Queensland Police Service.

“The loss of local businesses is absolutely heartbreaking; likewise the loss of the art gallery operated by our volunteer members of Art Whitsunday… less than four weeks after I called in,” Mr Costigan said.

“I’ve been in contact with our arts community today to assure them I’ll do whatever I can to help get a new gallery up and running.”

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