Mackay Outlook

Mackay is home to a diverse and vibrant community with rural and coastal living opportunities.

The area is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean waters - a premier tourist destination for Australians and International visitors alike.

Only just over an hour’s flight from Brisbane, the Mackay region’s expanding employment, investment and development opportunities, buoyant economy and lifestyle attributes are just some of the many positive aspects that encourage people to live, work and play in the region.

The Mackay Regional Local Government Area is one of the fastest growing in Queensland, with a population of 180,000.

Growth is fuelled by a resurgence in agribusiness and growth in construction, logistics and tourism.

The region is also the gateway to the rich coal resources further to the west and is one of the largest sugar producing regions in Australia.

LOCATION: Only just over an hour’s flight from Brisbane and positioned along the north-south Bruce Highway, connecting Brisbane to Cairns.

PROPERTY PRICE GROWTH: The median house price in Mackay (suburb) is $300,000.

THE MACKAY WATERFRONT PDA: The PDA will revitalise land and infrastructure within the Mackay city centre, creating social, liveability and economic benefits for the whole community.


Mackay produces a Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $7.475 billion, 2.29 per cent of the Queensland’s Gross State Product (GSP).

The city’s key industries include mining services, education, health, aviation, tourism and agriculture.

The Mackay Waterfront PDA became effective in May 2018 and covers approximately 172 hectares of centrally located land within the Mackay urban area.

The PDA establishes an overarching planning framework that will support future development and community outcomes in Mackay.

These include the redevelopment of public spaces along the Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade waterfronts, establishing a precinct for innovation and knowledge based industries, promoting the city centre as a key business hub, and providing exciting and activated streets, places and attractions that improve the city’s liveability, tourism appeal, and investment attraction.

A historic Mackay CBD building is the first project slated for development as part of the broader PDA.

The iconic 19th century Sydney Street building is just one heritage landmark that will be preserved and re-purposed to create lifestyle and economic benefits for the community.

When complete, the revitalised building will house a number of high-quality tenants, with a modern fit out while maintaining the historic facade.

Also on the development front, the Queensland Government has committed $8.8 million towards the revitalisation of Queens Park.

The park provides a diverse urban parkland, linking the city centre and coastline.

Some of the key features and facilities included in the revitalisation project include renovating the existing cricket change rooms, addition of new public toilets, improved car parking facilities, pedestrian and bikeway connectivity, improved lighting and a dog park.

The first sod has also been turned on an exciting new park project - the $2.2 million Sugar Bowl Mackay skate park.

The North Mackay development is slated to inspire more people to visit the area and provide entertainment options for youth in the community.

The project has now progressed into the broader $1.5 million Camilleri Street District Park Masterplan, which includes the skate park, a pump track, youth hub, basketball court, hit-up wall, new public amenities, boardwalk and footpath connectivity, additional shelters, BBQ, picnic tables and bench seats and a dog park.

The project is set to double the size of the popular Blacks Beach park, making it the biggest and most diverse park in the Northern Beaches.

The project is funded by the Mackay Regional Council and Queensland Government.


Mackay currently has several development and infrastructure projects proposed, approved and underway.

A report commissioned by the Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors has found that several proposed mining and gas projects in the Galilee Basin could generate a total of $3.9 billion of the region over the next 11 years.

The three mines include Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, Hancock Galilee’s Kevin’s Corner Project and the MacMines Austasia China Stone coal mine.

The modelling also relied on the creation of a gas pipeline connecting the Albany, Gunn, Glenaras and Blue Energy projects.

On the agricultural front, the Federal Government has committed $10 million to kick start the Urannah Water Scheme, which will provide a large-scale dam, irrigation precinct and renewable energy through hydro power.

The scheme would offer water security to the region’s agriculture industry while creating diversity in energy generation.

It is set to unlock the potential of 20,000 hectares of agricultural land and could create up to 1,000 jobs.

The region is also set to become an international exporter of Mining Equipment Technical Services (METS) collaborations, innovations, consultation and manufacturing.

The Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Mining Equipment Technical Services export hub is currently in development after securing a $353,000 grant from the Federal Government to establish a small and medium enterprises export hub.

The Local Buying Foundation and State Government matched the funding, which totalled an investment of $706,840 for a two-stage project over the next three years.

This funding will bring more investment and businesses to the region, complementing the current services.

It is slated to not only increase opportunities for export but create jobs into the future for the region.

Locally, the Federal Government has also pledged to contribute $6.5 million towards the delivery of the Northern Beaches Community Hub.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson has welcomed the pledge for half the $15 million project, which will create a ‘high street’ within the Northern Beaches that will centralise services, creating a more liveable lifestyle in the region’s fastest growing area.


Mackay is rebuilding its image in a brand new way with a focus on facilitating and supporting development for the growth, progression and increased liveability of the region.

The city is seeking to build sustainable economic growth that will generate employment, diversify the economy and value-add to existing businesses and industry.

According to demographer Bernard Salt, the Queensland Government has predicted the Mackay region’s population will hit 198,000 by 2030, with the forecast showing confidence in the region.

The Mackay region also enjoyed a 4% boost in small business in 2018, three times the national growth average.

Through targeted development including the Mackay Waterfront PDA, major industry development, aged care and retirement living, and tourism, Mackay’s residential market has improved significantly.

According to Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder, the number of growth markets in regional Queensland is rising - helped by recovery in resources-related regional centres - with Mackay now the most upwardly-mobile market.

The city has rising demand coupled with much lower vacancy rates, with numerous suburbs showing good price growth.


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