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Monday, 22 July 2019
Page: 616

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (16:13): This is a story that Charles Wooley, from Nine's 60 Minutes program, didn't tell viewers two weeks ago. The Whitsundays—a magical part of the world which lies in my electorate of Dawson—features many beautiful island and mainland resorts which have been renovated, rebuilt, reopened and are ready for business. Wooley claimed that only some, like Hamilton, have been rebuilt and reopened. This is far from the truth. Frankly, you'd expect better from a current affairs program which prides itself on its reporting. Just this month, InterContinental reopened the beautiful Hayman Island after a $135 million redevelopment. In April this year, Daydream Island officially reopened following a $120 million-plus redevelopment. Other island resorts open in the Whitsundays include Palm Bay Resort and Elysian Retreat, both on Long Island, and the Camp Island Lodge. And of course Hamilton Island was the first back to full operational status following Cyclone Debbie, and they have invested more than $500 million over 10 years to maintain that island paradise.

The Whitsundays has been and always will be a fantastic destination for holiday-makers from both within Australia and overseas. The 60 Minutes report was an undeserved kick in the guts that did nothing to help our region. Yes, there are island resorts that have not yet been rebuilt, but there are plenty that have been rebuilt and they are ready to welcome guests planning their next Whitsundays holiday. Maybe you, Madam Deputy Speaker, might consider it too.