In 2009 an Airlie Beach Concept Master Plan was delivered to the community.
There was no argument that Airlie Beach main street needed a make-over that included a better pedestrian network, stormwater management, parking and traffic flow.
But once again, self-interest ruled.
Plans appeared that took the main street on a detour through what is now the Heart Hotel, putting a sort of garden area in the middle of the main street and relocating the existing supermarket building into the foreshore parkland!
It was madness.
Despite attacks from the then Mayor Mike Brunker, Save Our Foreshore fought this loss of public parkland, and vested interests.
The execution of the main street re-development made life hell for Airlie business owners, the disruption took longer than planned and went overbudget.
But today, SOF’s community fight is vindicated.
Even if still used as a “temporary” carpark, our public parkland remains intact and provides a location for fantastic events like the Annual Reef Festival and Schoolies Week activities.