A really topical issue, and rightfully so, is what will the Whitsunday mainland look like in 10 or 20 years. To my mind, not much different to how it is today. The Whitsundays are surrounded by two national parks - the 22,000 hectare Conway National Park at the rear and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on the foreground. In between there is a thin slither of land capable of being developed. The coast, from the Centro Shopping Centre to Shute Harbour has a current population of 8,000 and our research shows there is a likely maximum of a further 8,000 properties can be developed within this area. At an average of 2.5 persons per house, this is another 20,000 people. Recent experience has shown that development sites are being developed with less density than the maximum possible, so this figure is very much the top end.
To really emphasise the point, look at the area from a helicopter, light plane or from the water. Particularly at night time, as I do, cruise along the coast, say from Hamilton Island back to Abel Point Marina – all that you notice is darkness.