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“We have a massive job ahead so let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with it.” And with those words Chair Cr John Collins kicked off today’s meeting of the Whitsunday Regional Council’s Local Recovery Group.
Deputy Mayor Collins said each of the sub-groups would be chaired by a councillor and would have a specific focus area during the recovery.
“There are four Recovery Sub Groups which will focus on Human Social, Economic, Environment and Infrastructure elements and each group held their initial meetings yesterday to report back to the steering group.
“It will be each group’s role to provide leadership and map out a way forward, which has already commenced having been busy working behind the scenes to coordinate support and advice from a diverse range of agencies.
These include more than 26 different Federal and State government agencies that make up each group, along with local economic, social and environmental groups such as Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Whitsunday, Bowen Collinsville Enterprises and Greater Whitsunday Alliance.
“It was a catastrophic disaster our region endured with Cyclone Debbie wreaking havoc and recovery will be long term,” he said.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Andrew Willcox said the Local Recovery Group had been established to lead the region through the recovery and eventually back to business as normal.
“Our community has already banded together and shown that typical north Queenslander resilience in the face of terrible adversity.
“Together we are in this for the long term and together we will ensure the Whitsunday Region reasserts itself as the place to be for tourism, agriculture and mining industries.”
The Human Social Sub group is chaired by Cr Ron Petterson and will focus on the restoration of community support services and networks and also social impacts.
Chair of the Economic Sub group is Cr Mike Brunker and their key goals will be assessing impact on large and small business and industry and guiding economic recovery and renewal.
Infrastructure Sub group chair is Cr Dave Clark and they will be coordinating the restoration of public buildings and infrastructure such as schools and public playgrounds.
Cr Jan Clifford will chair the Environment Sub group and will coordinate supporting affected communities in assessing impacts of the event on natural and cultural environment and consequences of clean-up operations.