Northern Beaches Community Hub

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Centrepiece of the Northern Beaches

The Northern Beaches Community Hub will be a welcoming local meeting place with access to a range of community facilities in the heart of the fastest growing area in Mackay.

The northern suburbs of the Mackay urban area, namely Rural View, Eimeo, Blacks Beach, Dolphin Heads, Bucasia and Shoal Point, are collectively referred to as the Northern Beaches.

The Northern Beaches experienced the highest population growth rate and number during the recent high growth period in the Mackay region, growing from 8,800 in 2001 to 18,700 in 2016, as the Mackay region benefitted from expansions in coal mining, mining service industries and tourism.

The Northern Beaches remains a major population growth area. The population catchment had a population of 20,000 in 2018 and is projected to attract 30% of future population growth in the Mackay region, growing to over 30,000 by 2041.


What is a Community Hub?

A community hub brings together community facilities and social infrastructure services in a centrally accessible location. By co-locating services, a hub provides a local meeting place where the community can connect. This is an opportunity to create new partnerships and through cooperation deliver a range of community activities, programs, services and events tailored to the needs of the Northern Beaches community.


The Northern Beaches Community Hub has the potential to:

  • Provide a community space that appeals to a broad range of users
  • Be an active space catering to the health and well being of the community
  • Be a connected space connecting community spatially and digitally
  • Be a flexible space to future proof the community hub
  • Be a tropical space that responds and celebrates the local climate.

Proposed outcomes:

The Northern Beaches Community Hub will provide a focal point for services and activities. The concept will include spaces which could:

• cluster community facilities to deliver more cost-effective service delivery
• contribute to place-making and community building in the Northern Beaches area
• provide meeting spaces for community groups, families, seniors and youth
• provide a range of community activities, programs, services and events
• provide opportunities for cross-referral and delivery of community services and programs
• encourage co-operation and partnerships across community groups, government and the private sector.

The estimated future cost to establish the community hub is $25 million for Stage 1. The Federal Government has committed $6.5 million. Council is currently seeking further funding to deliver the project.


Take a bird's eye view of the site


Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group

A reference group is helping to inform council during the planning and design of a new Northern Beaches Community Hub.

Stay updated on this project by subscribing to its project update emails. Click the Stay Informed button on the right of this page. You will receive an email afterwards asking you to confirm your subscription.


Centrepiece of the Northern Beaches

The Northern Beaches Community Hub will be a welcoming local meeting place with access to a range of community facilities in the heart of the fastest growing area in Mackay.

The northern suburbs of the Mackay urban area, namely Rural View, Eimeo, Blacks Beach, Dolphin Heads, Bucasia and Shoal Point, are collectively referred to as the Northern Beaches.

The Northern Beaches experienced the highest population growth rate and number during the recent high growth period in the Mackay region, growing from 8,800 in 2001 to 18,700 in 2016, as the Mackay region benefitted from expansions in coal mining, mining service industries and tourism.

The Northern Beaches remains a major population growth area. The population catchment had a population of 20,000 in 2018 and is projected to attract 30% of future population growth in the Mackay region, growing to over 30,000 by 2041.


What is a Community Hub?

A community hub brings together community facilities and social infrastructure services in a centrally accessible location. By co-locating services, a hub provides a local meeting place where the community can connect. This is an opportunity to create new partnerships and through cooperation deliver a range of community activities, programs, services and events tailored to the needs of the Northern Beaches community.


The Northern Beaches Community Hub has the potential to:

  • Provide a community space that appeals to a broad range of users
  • Be an active space catering to the health and well being of the community
  • Be a connected space connecting community spatially and digitally
  • Be a flexible space to future proof the community hub
  • Be a tropical space that responds and celebrates the local climate.

Proposed outcomes:

The Northern Beaches Community Hub will provide a focal point for services and activities. The concept will include spaces which could:

• cluster community facilities to deliver more cost-effective service delivery
• contribute to place-making and community building in the Northern Beaches area
• provide meeting spaces for community groups, families, seniors and youth
• provide a range of community activities, programs, services and events
• provide opportunities for cross-referral and delivery of community services and programs
• encourage co-operation and partnerships across community groups, government and the private sector.

The estimated future cost to establish the community hub is $25 million for Stage 1. The Federal Government has committed $6.5 million. Council is currently seeking further funding to deliver the project.


Take a bird's eye view of the site


Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group

A reference group is helping to inform council during the planning and design of a new Northern Beaches Community Hub.

Stay updated on this project by subscribing to its project update emails. Click the Stay Informed button on the right of this page. You will receive an email afterwards asking you to confirm your subscription.

  • Project update #3: April 14, 2021

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    14 Apr 2021
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    New Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group under way

    A key to the success of a planned Northern Beaches Community Hub will be the ownership residents feel about the exciting facility.

    With that in mind, council has formed a Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group, which has now met twice.

    Minutes from the reference group meetings were adopted at today’s ordinary meeting of council (Wednesday, April 14).

    Chair, Deputy Mayor Karen May, said this was an extremely important project for Mackay, particularly the fast-growing Northern Beaches area.

    “About 20,000 people live in the Northern Beaches area and council, in its last term, secured a 3.7-hectare site for the establishment of community infrastructure that is well overdue,’’ she said.

    Cr May said there had been a fantastic response from community members and agencies to be involved in the reference groups.

    “It is so important for council, in this preliminary design stage of the project, to ensure we harness what the community really wants out of the Northern Beaches Community Hub,’’ she said.

    “We can then make sure we facilitate what the community needs. It is a very exciting time for council and the community.”

    Other councillor representatives on the Community Reference Group include Cr Michelle Green, who is deputy chair, and Cr Belinda Hassan.

    Other council representatives include Development Services director Aletta Nugent and Community and Client Services director Angela Hays, as well as officers.

    Community representatives include Sian Burrows, Tegan Jones, Rae Lee Cox, Maighan Grant, Maria (Ela) Maglente, Geoff Berger, Valeriya Edsall, David Southwood and Laurence Mayer.

    The reference group doesn’t have any decision-making powers. Minutes and any recommendations of the group are considered at council meetings.

  • Project update #2: May 1, 2020

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    24 Jul 2020

    $6.5 million in Federal Government funding and land acquired

    Mayor Greg Williamson said a site for the Northern Beaches Community Hub had been selected, with land purchases finalised in April 2020.

    “We’ve purchased 3.7 hectares in the Rural View area, located between Mackay/Eimeo Road and Rosewood Drive,” Cr Williamson said.

    “The land was purchased by council for $3.6M after a review of many options in the Northern Beaches area,” he said.

    “Now that the land is finalised, we will continue the master planning of the site and then move into the concept design phase within the next six months.

    “From concept design to finalisation of Stage One is likely to be between 24 and 30 months, and at this stage COVID-19 is not expected to have an impact on that time frame.”

    Cr Williamson said while council was still working on the final scope of Stage One, the hub would likely contain community meeting spaces, library facilities and other services.

    “Stage Two is likely to include some aquatic facilities and other services,” he said.

    Stage One total costs estimates are yet to be finalised, but the Mayor said council was expecting it to be around $20M.

    “We received $6.5M in funding from the Federal Government as an election commitment and will also be seeking State funding, with the balance to be covered by council.”

  • Project update #1: January 2, 2020

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    24 Jul 2020

    Preferred site identified

    Mackay Regional Council CEO Craig Doyle said council had identified a preferred site for the planned Northern Beaches Hub.

    He said council was now working to secure the site with an aim of finalising land acquisition and master planning for the project by mid-2020.

    “Council has allocated budget in this financial year to progress concept design and identify and finalise land options,” Mr Doyle said.

    “The final costs are still being finalised and will depend on land options, cost of construction and scope, but at this stage we have $6.5M of Federal funding approved for the project,” he said.

    “Other sources of funding could include State funding and council.

    “We are very close to finalising the land acquisition and this will allow master planning of that particular site, which would then lead to concept and detailed design phases in the second half of 2020.”

    Mr Doyle said, at this stage, any forecasting of final project costs involved high level estimates.

    “We’re still finalising the scope of stage one of this project,” he said.

    “We have undertaken a number of business case and external reviews of the types of facilities and activities that could be provided based on current and future population and demographics in the Northern Beaches.”