Chamber Chat - Thursday, July 11, 2019

There has been a lot of activity on Whitsunday Chat prompted by a thought provoking question: “How to bring more people into Airlie Beach Main Street”

 There were literally hundreds of responses and twice as many great ideas! The formation of a main street strategies and committee to help run and coordinate some regular events and attraction is something the Chamber has been working on and we will hold round table discussions this week and are planning public forum on Tuesday 16th – be alert for confirmation of time and venue.

We have spaces on our committee and are very keen to talk to main street businesses eager to be involved. Whilst we have a structure, a membership base, website and Facebook presence, contacts at all levels of government and strong support from the council and Tourism Whitsundays, we desperately need people to help drive and achieve this - we simply do not have the manpower or funding.

It’s is genuinely fantastic to see so many passionate people that really care about our great region and are prepared to do something about it! This is the way to achieve something great, by working together.

It is a shame that main stream media doesn’t share the same positivity. 

These are the 60 minute headlines on their Whitsunday Island story:

Abandoned resorts “left to rot” in the Whitsundays.

The Whitsundays, once a holiday hot-spot and beacon of success for Australia’s tourism industry, has been abandoned and left in a state of disarray.

Shocking vision from a 60 Minutes report into the islands' ‘ghost resorts’ has shown the once luxurious holiday destination completely destroyed, with hotels, bars and restaurants left to waste away.

Nothing balanced about the report at all. No question that a couple of resorts need repair and action should have been taken long ago. However, the is NO mention of the new and refurbished resorts back on line. The story is an absolutely disgrace and I encourage everyone to let The network know exactly what you think about that kind of reporting !

It makes driving visitation to Airlie Beach even more important. Some of the great ideas that the Chamber is already working on include proposals to implement more free parking, longer parking areas, home grown hand-made markets in the main street, regular ‘eat street’ set up on a quiet weekday evening, more shows and small-scale events to generate interest in the street on weekends, permanent rental of billboard to direct people to Airlie Beach.

If you want to help the main street, please sign up your business to the Whitsunday Chamber of Commerce (it is only $199 a year) and make yourself known to us. If you would like to
nominate to be on our committee and help drive the direction and promotion
of the main street please contact me on  

Talking of the main street, there is some great office space available to share just across from Fish D’vine, overlooking the Port of Airlie, and it’s very reasonable (from just $30/day for a casual desk to $150/week for a locked office with sea views!). 

There’s a full-time receptionist, free Wi-Fi and power and printers.  Contact Gabrielle Preat on or 0418 104 418.

Small Business State Budget 2019-2020 Roadshow will be taking place at the Proserpine Community Centre (36 Gardenia Street) on Tuesday, July 16. 

The free lunch, from 12pm to 1pm, will be hosted by the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, to discuss the 2019-20 budget and how the new payroll tax changes impact small business. Email by 12pm Monday, July 15, to register.

How do we bring more people into Airlie Beach Main Street?

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