Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA)

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Area: Mackay Region, Mackay CBD, East Mackay
Published: 5 November 2017 - Consultation is closed - Current Project


Boasting a diverse strong economy, the Mackay region has experienced the most prolonged period of growth in recent history. Mackay has established itself as a modern regional city, with low unemployment, an enviable lifestyle, liveable tropical climate and opportunities in investment and economic development.

The Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared on May 25, 2018 to kick start this visionary project that will transform the city and unlock the true value of Queensland's Bluewater Edge. The PDA was declared to establish the necessary policy and governance framework to support the PDA vision, Mackay Waterfront Master Plan, and the intended development, investment, economic and community outcomes for the area.

The redevelopment of the waterfront areas will set the scene for significant urban transformation for the city, that establishes Mackay as a nationally recognised destination of choice to live, work, invest, do business, study and holiday. The PDA will build upon the area’s exceptional natural, cultural and heritage assets within the city centre environment as part of an ongoing process of evolution and positive change. The rejuvenation of the public realm and investment opportunities across the five PDA precincts will:

  • improve the city’s and region’s liveability and loveability
  • create jobs, diversify the economy and increase business and prosperity
  • boost and support investment confidence across the region
  • contribute to the region’s character, identity and community connections
  • complement and support the region’s places, facilities, attractions, features, offerings and activities.

The identification of public realm investment is a significant catalyst to attract private investment and it is the private investment in the PDA that will deliver a more diversified regional economy. The PDA Development Scheme supports the potential public investment by facilitating a range of development and investment opportunities across the PDA under a streamlined assessment process.

The PDA provides significant opportunities to redevelop the Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade waterfronts; establishing a precinct for innovation and knowledge 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.


Mackay Waterfront Master Plan

The Mackay Waterfront project has reached a major milestone!

We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 22 January 2020 council endorsed the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

The master plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 years to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complement the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

The purpose of the master plan is to establish the overall vision for the Mackay Waterfront through the incorporation of the community’s ideas and previous investigations completed by council for areas within the PDA. It will be a living, evolving document to inform further design and respond to opportunities and constraints that emerge.

The public has played an integral part in the vision and objectives for this project, with consultation starting in 2017 through to November 2019. During these valuable consultation periods, the Mackay community has generously put forward their thoughts, ideas and aspirations for the public realm and community opportunities, preferred building types, and general development opportunities across the Mackay Waterfront area. This valued input has shaped and informed the vision, principles and concepts in the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

We thank the community for their engagement and continued interest in the project.


PDA development scheme

Following endorsement by Mackay Regional Council, the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme (development scheme) was approved by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland and became effective on 24 May 2019.

The development scheme is the planning document that will assist in planning, carrying out, promoting, coordinating and controlling the development of land in the PDA. The development scheme supersedes the Mackay Waterfront PDA Interim Land Use Plan, which no longer has effect.

For more information on the development scheme and development assessment in the PDA, visit the Mackay Waterfront PDA webpage on council's website.


Related PDA projects

Find out the latest on the Queens Park Revitalisation Project visit Connecting Mackay Queens Park.


Area: Mackay Region, Mackay CBD, East Mackay
Published: 5 November 2017 - Consultation is closed - Current Project


Boasting a diverse strong economy, the Mackay region has experienced the most prolonged period of growth in recent history. Mackay has established itself as a modern regional city, with low unemployment, an enviable lifestyle, liveable tropical climate and opportunities in investment and economic development.

The Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared on May 25, 2018 to kick start this visionary project that will transform the city and unlock the true value of Queensland's Bluewater Edge. The PDA was declared to establish the necessary policy and governance framework to support the PDA vision, Mackay Waterfront Master Plan, and the intended development, investment, economic and community outcomes for the area.

The redevelopment of the waterfront areas will set the scene for significant urban transformation for the city, that establishes Mackay as a nationally recognised destination of choice to live, work, invest, do business, study and holiday. The PDA will build upon the area’s exceptional natural, cultural and heritage assets within the city centre environment as part of an ongoing process of evolution and positive change. The rejuvenation of the public realm and investment opportunities across the five PDA precincts will:

  • improve the city’s and region’s liveability and loveability
  • create jobs, diversify the economy and increase business and prosperity
  • boost and support investment confidence across the region
  • contribute to the region’s character, identity and community connections
  • complement and support the region’s places, facilities, attractions, features, offerings and activities.

The identification of public realm investment is a significant catalyst to attract private investment and it is the private investment in the PDA that will deliver a more diversified regional economy. The PDA Development Scheme supports the potential public investment by facilitating a range of development and investment opportunities across the PDA under a streamlined assessment process.

The PDA provides significant opportunities to redevelop the Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade waterfronts; establishing a precinct for innovation and knowledge 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.


Mackay Waterfront Master Plan

The Mackay Waterfront project has reached a major milestone!

We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 22 January 2020 council endorsed the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

The master plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 years to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complement the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

The purpose of the master plan is to establish the overall vision for the Mackay Waterfront through the incorporation of the community’s ideas and previous investigations completed by council for areas within the PDA. It will be a living, evolving document to inform further design and respond to opportunities and constraints that emerge.

The public has played an integral part in the vision and objectives for this project, with consultation starting in 2017 through to November 2019. During these valuable consultation periods, the Mackay community has generously put forward their thoughts, ideas and aspirations for the public realm and community opportunities, preferred building types, and general development opportunities across the Mackay Waterfront area. This valued input has shaped and informed the vision, principles and concepts in the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

We thank the community for their engagement and continued interest in the project.


PDA development scheme

Following endorsement by Mackay Regional Council, the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme (development scheme) was approved by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland and became effective on 24 May 2019.

The development scheme is the planning document that will assist in planning, carrying out, promoting, coordinating and controlling the development of land in the PDA. The development scheme supersedes the Mackay Waterfront PDA Interim Land Use Plan, which no longer has effect.

For more information on the development scheme and development assessment in the PDA, visit the Mackay Waterfront PDA webpage on council's website.


Related PDA projects

Find out the latest on the Queens Park Revitalisation Project visit Connecting Mackay Queens Park.


  • Mackay Waterfront EOI process to test appetite for private investment

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    about 1 month ago

    SIX council-owned freehold sites in the Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) are earmarked as potential catalysts for exciting inner-city projects.

    Such projects would support revitalisation of the City Centre and proposed waterfront public realm upgrades near these sites.

    Council is about to gauge interest in the development potential of those sites through an Expressions of Interest (EOI) process.

    Mayor Greg Williamson said calling for expressions of interest was an opportunity to test the market appetite for development through private investment.

    “It is a cost-effective way to identify options for development of the lots, especially as council has no firm...

    SIX council-owned freehold sites in the Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) are earmarked as potential catalysts for exciting inner-city projects.

    Such projects would support revitalisation of the City Centre and proposed waterfront public realm upgrades near these sites.

    Council is about to gauge interest in the development potential of those sites through an Expressions of Interest (EOI) process.

    Mayor Greg Williamson said calling for expressions of interest was an opportunity to test the market appetite for development through private investment.

    “It is a cost-effective way to identify options for development of the lots, especially as council has no firm view on possible projects,’’ Cr Williamson said.

    “It is a good way of attracting potential private sector investment without major resource implications for both council and potential developers,’’ he said.

    The sites range from the former Retravision building in Wood Street to two waterfront properties in River Street.

    Cr Williamson said the decision at today’s ordinary meeting to call for expressions of interest for the six freehold sites did not commit council to continuing to a tender phase if proposals were not deemed to be in the public interest.

    He said following the EOI process, council could choose to invite tenders from a shortlist if it wished to proceed.

    The EOI is expected to be advertised at the end of June, with a recommendation report provided to council in August.

    Respondents will be able to provide an EOI for individual or consolidated sites. Potential uses may include:

    > Commercial activities providing opportunities for business, administration and professional service providers
    > Accommodation activities offering a diverse range of short and long-term residential offerings
    > Food and drink activities (restaurant), craft brewery, distillery, function centre or major entertainment activities overlooking the Pioneer River
    > Health care and community support services
    > Mixed use tourist development or unique regional attraction supporting both land and water-based tourism opportunities
    > Any combination of the above.

    The six council-owned freehold sites include two car parks. One is on the corner of River and Gregory streets and the other the corner of Brisbane and River streets.

    “Calling for expressions of interest in these two sites does not mean council is proposing to reduce car parking to make way for development,’’ Cr Williamson said.

    “There could be any number of mixed used developments which could incorporate car parking arrangements for both public and private use,’’ he said.

    The properties also include 1-5 Wood Street, which is the former Pioneer Shire Council building and surrounding vacant land.

    “It is important to note that the focus of this site is the available vacant land and not the building itself, which is State Heritage-listed,’’ Cr Williamson said.

    The six properties which are part of the EOI process include:
    > About 5800 square metres on the corner of Gregory and River streets (currently a car park).
    > About 2052 square metres at 14-18 Wood Street (former Retravision building)
    > About 1470 square metres at 1-15 Wood Street (former Pioneer Shire Council building and surrounding vacant land and access ways
    > About 4300 square metres on corner of Brisbane and River streets (currently a car park).
    > About 2065 square metres at 8 River Street (currently a building with lessees)
    > About 4273 square metres at 6 River Street (currently a vacant building)

    Council is also currently focusing on public realm upgrades and complementary place-making activations near these sites.

  • The Mackay Waterfront project has reached a major milestone!

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    5 months ago

    We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday January 22, 2020, council endorsed the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

    The master plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 years to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complement the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

    The purpose of the master plan is to establish the overall vision for the Mackay Waterfront through the incorporation of the community’s ideas and previous investigations completed by council for areas within the PDA. It will be a living, evolving...

    We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday January 22, 2020, council endorsed the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

    The master plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 years to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complement the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

    The purpose of the master plan is to establish the overall vision for the Mackay Waterfront through the incorporation of the community’s ideas and previous investigations completed by council for areas within the PDA. It will be a living, evolving document to inform further design and respond to opportunities and constraints that emerge.

    The public has played an integral part in the vision and objectives for this project, with consultation starting in 2017 through to November 2019. During these valuable consultation periods, the Mackay community has generously put forward their thoughts, ideas and aspirations for the public realm and community opportunities, preferred building types, and general development opportunities across the Mackay Waterfront area. This valued input has shaped and informed the vision, principles and concepts in the Mackay Waterfront Master Plan.

    Take a look at the master plan by clicking here

  • Draft Mackay Waterfront Master Plan released

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    10 months ago


    The draft Mackay Waterfront Master Plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 year period to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complements the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

    Council welcomes your feedback on the draft Mackay Waterfront Master Plan. To read the draft Master Plan click here.

    Survey open:
    Wednesday, September 11, 2019 to Sunday, November 4, 2019



    The draft Mackay Waterfront Master Plan sets out the public realm vision and concepts for the Mackay Waterfront over the next 20 year period to inform more detailed design of individual projects in the future and complements the objectives and requirements of the PDA development scheme.

    Council welcomes your feedback on the draft Mackay Waterfront Master Plan. To read the draft Master Plan click here.

    Survey open:
    Wednesday, September 11, 2019 to Sunday, November 4, 2019


  • Mackay Waterfront Vision

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    over 1 year ago
    The Mackay Waterfront is set to be a game changer for the region.

    Published 14 October 2018


    The Mackay Waterfront is set to be a game changer for the region.

    Published 14 October 2018


  • Potential redevelopment opportunities fly through

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    over 1 year ago

    This video displays a fly through of the potential redevelopment opportunities.

    Published 8 November 2016


    This video displays a fly through of the potential redevelopment opportunities.

    Published 8 November 2016