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The extended consultation period for community feedback on the draft Airlie Beach ForeshoreRevitalisation Project ended last week.
The feedback from the month long community engagement period will be collated over the nextweek and a presentation made to the Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation Project Control Group (PCG) which is chaired by Mayor Andrew Willcox.
The PCG will then provide a briefing for councillors before deciding on the next step of thecommunity consultation process.
Mayor Willcox said Council is still open to exploring joint funding options with the FederalGovernment to deliver the best possible outcome for the community.
“The proposal incorporates the transformation of the foreshore area into a purpose built marketplace to support local and visitor trading, draw greater patronage of domestic and internationalvisitors and provide an attractive open space for the community to enjoy,” Cr Willcox said.
“A number of new elements are proposed including sheltered picnic spaces, additional trees andpalms, a stage area, bus terminal inclusive of storage space, public toilets, wider pathways anddesignated spaces for the market stalls,” he said.
Cr Willcox stressed that the proposal was the initial draft document and would be amended toreflect the community feedback and it was likely several options would then be presented as thenext stage of the consultation process.
“Currently the area is being used as an informal car park and bus terminal but with a growingcruise ship market demanding safer access for the elderly and the rapid progression occurring inAirlie Beach, it is essential that we look at ways to improve the local ambience of this area which is a prime location in the region.
“It is vitally important we cater for and promote our region to the cruise ship market as we have the data to prove the economic stimulus they create.
"Recent cruise ship statistics show that the average cruise ship passenger spends $154 during an onshore excursion so with 2000 passengers per boat and currently 40 cruises ships visiting our shores annually that is over $12 million being injected directly into our local economy.
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