Mackay Isaac Whitsunday banner

The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is one of the most naturally beautiful and resource-rich locations in Australia. From the iconic Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands to the largest coal mining deposits in Australia, the Bowen and Galilee basins, the region is an economic powerhouse that is key to Queensland’s economy.

The region is home to Paget, the biggest mining services support centre in the southern hemisphere. It services the mining and resources sector in Central Queensland and provides specialist industrial, transport and supply chain services.

Mackay Isaac Whitsunday has proven expertise in bio-futures, with green field investment opportunities, existing facilities and well-established support infrastructure that provides investors with the opportunity to partner and further expand upon existing bioprocessing organisations and establish bioproduct precincts.

Population

172,500 (June 2018)

Employment

5.3% unemployment (June 2019)

Strengths

  • a strong manufacturing base focussed in the Mackay area
  • an established industrial precinct servicing mining, agriculture and construction sectors
  • a strong agricultural sector with 28% of Australia’s sugar cane, one of the largest winter produce growing regions in Australia and 5% of Australia’s beef
  • the Bowen and Galilee basins containing the largest coal mining deposits in Australia and the majority of Queensland’s prime coking coal
  • an emerging industrial biotechnology sector and world-class expertise in research and development
  • higher education and research – two university campuses and QUT bio-commodities pilot plant
  • three regional airports, two seaports, three bulk shipping terminals, reliable freight service rail networks
  • ideal positioning at the gateway to the Asia-Pacific and close economic ties with expanding Asia-Pacific markets
  • tourism based around the Whitsundays and the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef
  • established local supply chains and technical services
  • resilient and diverse economy.

Industries

  • agriculture
    • food product
    • grains and pulses
    • livestock
  • aviation
  • beef processing
  • biobased products
  • construction
  • education
  • energy production / renewable energy
  • fisheries / aquaculture
  • food and beverage
  • health
  • horticulture
  • manufacturing / engineering
    • fabricated metal production
    • food manufacturing
    • machinery and equipment
    • industrial precinct
    • light industries
    • rail manufacturing
  • marine
  • mining – coal
  • retail trade
  • sport
  • tourism

Local business services and support

We’re committed to providing local businesses with full, fair and reasonable opportunities to participate in government and non-government projects across Queensland. This is done by delivering a range of activities to help local businesses find project opportunities, compete for work and improve their tendering and supply chain capabilities.

View all upcoming events and opportunities in the region on the events page including:

  • workshops
  • mentoring services
  • industry briefings supporting businesses at all stages of project supply chains

High-level projects

Clarke Creek Wind Farm

The Clark Creek Wind Farm project will be located in Clarke Creek, approximately 150 km north-west of Rockhampton and 150 km south of Mackay in Central Queensland. The wind farm is a $1 billion investment that will involve the construction of up to 195 wind turbines and associated ancillary infrastructure. It’s estimated that 350 jobs will be created during the construction period and up to 25 full-time jobs will be required when operational.

Lacour Energy has partnered with Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd (Goldwind) to deliver the Clarke Creek Wind Farm project. Construction is planned to start in 2019 and be completed by early to mid-2021.

We’re working with Lacour and Goldwind to facilitate local industry participation in the project through the Clarke Creek Local Business Participation Program. The program will be implemented in a three-stage process via the Industry Capability Network (ICN) and industry briefing sessions.

Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence

The $7 million Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence will be a new training and research facility to support the region’s mining industry. Supported by $3.6 million of funding under the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, the facility will drive research and innovation in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector. The facility will feature a simulated underground coal mine providing close to real conditions. This controlled environment will greatly assist with accelerated training, product innovation and demonstrations, and may even prove to be a tourism drawcard. Users of the centre will include training providers, researchers, and private companies within the METS sector.

The facility is being delivered by Mackay Regional Council in partnership with the Resource Industry Network. Mackay construction company Fergus Builders has been awarded the contract to build the facility which is scheduled for completion in March 2020.

Tassal - North Queensland Prawn Farm Development

Tassal Group is Australia’s leading seafood provider. The Tasmanian-based company is the largest producer of fresh salmon in the world, supplying domestic and international markets. Tassal Group is expanding its prawn farm operations in Queensland and New South Wales with the acquisition of three prawn farms located at Proserpine, Mission Beach and Yamba. In addition, the company has also purchased a 7,000-hectare beef property (Exmoor Station) just north of Mackay with a view to turning it into a major aquaculture facility. The company plans to invest $85 million to continue expansion at the Proserpine farm and then build on the new property and aim to reach 20,000 tonnes of prawn production each year through responsible aquaculture development and sustainable practices.

This project is located within one of the six designated aquaculture development areas (ADAs) that was announced by the Queensland Government early this year and has also been given Prescribed Project Status that will enable the state’s independent Coordinator-General to assist with progressing the project and gaining approvals from governments.

The projects will deliver up to 1,000 jobs in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region. Tassal is seeking to work with local suppliers to execute this growth plan. Business can express an interest in supply opportunities associated with these projects by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information

To find out more about this diverse region, contact our Mackay Isaac Whitsunday regional office.