Anna's key to Quay St
IT HAD to be Anna.
An emotional Anna Meares was presented the keys to her home city tonight as Quay St was officially re-opened.
With two Olympic gold medals, 11 world championships golds and five gold Commonwealths medals, the Central Queenslander is truly our golden girl.
And the most qualified for this immense celebration.
CQ golden girl Anna Meares about to be presented the keys to the city of Rockhampton and open Quay St stage one pic.twitter.com/H5RbuTm5Xa— Matty Holdsworth (@matty_capnews) December 9, 2016
She spoke to the distinguished guests of her true pride in being a country girl and she spoke from the heart.
"To me, it is a lovely way of acknowledging the things that I have done. Even though it has taken me away from Rockhampton and CQ, to be recognised in the area where it all started is humbling," Anna said.
"It is always good to come home. This is where all my foundations were laid for my sport and launched internationally.
"A lot of Rockhampton is changing, it is cool to dip in and out and see all the changes. I knew the devastation after Cyclone Marcia, so it is really nice to see that re-vamping and re-development. It is great for this community spirited town, that's what I love the most about this region."
It's that community who will benefit the most from the re-opening of the stunning Quay St upgrades.
Included in the completed works is some of the most impressive technology regional Australia has ever seen such as an Australian first smart street lighting system, free public Wi-Fi, extensive CCTV coverage, colourful facade lighting of the historic buildings along the street.
Rockhampton Regional mayor Margaret Strelow beamed when she handed over the keys.
As she read out the long list of Australia's most decorated track cyclist's accomplishments, she paused, allowing the crowd to take it all in. She said there was no one more deserving of such a high honour.
After witnessing the destruction caused by Cyclone Marcia first hand, Cr Strelow was delighted to label it a "turning point in the heart of Rockhampton".
"This re-development is about both respecting our amazing heritage precinct and providing a state of the art recreational space for our community," Cr Strelow said.
"We are blessed with an iconic Quay St precinct on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy. It will transform into a recreational hub and be the catalyst to activate the central CBD.
"It is only the beginning of the exciting changes of the foreseeable future of our riverbank area."
Work has now moved along Quay St to Stage 1B. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.