The Port of Airlie development project is once again under way.
The Port of Airlie development project is once again under way. Aimee Vinci

Airlie defies the odds

THE future of the $750 million Port of Airlie development is looking bright.

The Meridien Group owned project was placed into receivership with independent restructuring and corporate advisory firm McGrathNicol in August 2011.

Recently however, new asset managers and receivers BDO and Balmain Asset Management have taken charge of the development.

The development, which is partially complete, includes 56 boat house apartments, a transit centre, a series of restaurants and cafes, residential lots, a man-made beach and parklands, a marina basin, a public boat ramp, and a car park.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney said the new receivers were working closely with council to continue the development.

"It's in a prime spot in Airlie and they're working very well with us and we're very happy to be working with them," Cr Whitney said.

"The transit centre, which is being handed over to council, is in the process and we'll see that happening within the month."

She said the project would do wonders for a region which had been struggling with poor tourist numbers lately.

"What it means for us is more activity for our locals and our visitors to enjoy," Cr Whitney said.

"It's definitely a major economic boost and we'll see further development happening.

"I believe the people in control of the development at the moment are progressing with further stages of the development."

Former Meridien Group North Queensland manager Andrew Forster said the development was now progressing in an "orderly fashion".

"I believe under the guidance of the new asset mangers and receivers that the future of the port of Airlie looks very bright," Mr Forster said.

He also denied rumours the project had been sold.

"There are always rumours going around about the sale of the Port of Airlie," Mr Forster said.

"None of which have ever been confirmed."



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