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A bold vision for the future of Mackay


The Mackay Waterfront is a long-term 20-year project encompassing approximately 172 hectares. The project area is centrally located within the Mackay urban area and is driving economic and community outcomes through job creation, improving liveability and tourism as well as attracting new industries and investment to the region.

The Mackay Waterfront has been divided into five precincts including City Centre, Riverside, Enterprise, Queens Park and Beachside, each with their own drivers and opportunities

The bold vision for the future of Mackay aims to build upon the natural setting and the established character of the city. In doing this it will reconnect Mackay and its visitors to the waterfront, strengthen the region’s economy, create a range of inner-city living options, promote the region as a key Queensland tourist destination and facilitate development and investment. The delivery of the vision is to be guided by Council in partnership with the private sector and other government agencies.

It is intended that the vision will deliver benefits for the whole community through economic development and the creation of great new city destinations within a connected network. The project seeks to establish a range of different development opportunities and create diverse economic and social benefits.

Mackay Waterfront’s close proximity to the Mackay Airport, major road infrastructure (Bruce Highway and Peak Downs Highway) and the Port of Mackay sets the scene for endless opportunity in an accessible and desirable location.


Priority Development Area’s (PDA’s) are parcels of land within Queensland that are identified for development to deliver significant benefits to the community.

Projects may include, for example, commercial development, industrial opportunities, and residential estates in partnership with local government and industry.

A range of factors are considered when deciding if a PDA is declared, including:

  • Will the outcome support economic growth?
  • Is there a need for accelerated development?
  • Will it unlock under-utilised and surplus government owned land?
  • Will it drive development for community purposes?

More information about PDA’s can be found here.

The Mackay Waterfront PDA was declared on 25 May 2018 to establish the necessary policy and governance framework to support intended development and define a vision for the area to strengthen economic and community outcomes.

The redevelopment of the waterfront areas will set the scene for significant urban transformation for the city, to establish Mackay as a nationally recognised destination of choice to live, work, invest, do business, study, and holiday. The rejuvenation of the public realm and investment opportunities across the five precincts will:

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

Council’s commitment to investment and improvement of the public realm presents a significant catalyst to support private investment.

Prior to lodgement of any development application, applicants are encouraged to contact council to organise a pre-application meeting to discuss conceptual and detailed design proposals. While this is an informal process, pre-application discussions allow developers and the development assessment team to work together under a streamlined assessment process. For a pre-lodgement meeting please contact council and submit pre-application meeting request form.

PDA Development Applications can be lodged to council via the application portal


email development.services@mackay.qld.gov.au, post to the Mackay Regional Council Development Assessment Team, PO Box 41, Mackay QLD 4740, or in person at the Mackay Customer Service Centre at 73 Gordon Street, Mackay.

The relevant development form must be completed and submitted with the PDA development application:

For all development enquiries, please email development.services@mackay.qld.gov.au, call 1300 MACKAY, or post to the Mackay Regional Council Development Assessment Team, PO Box 41, Mackay QLD 4740.

The development scheme was prepared by Mackay Regional Council in consultation with Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and other state agencies.

The development assessment powers of the MEDQ under the Economic Development Act 2012 (the Act) have been delegated to Mackay Regional Council, except for the assessment of State interests. Council will assess development applications against the purposes of the Act and the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme. Mackay Regional Council will coordinate referral of applications to Economic Development Queensland for State interest review as part of the development assessment process.

When lodging a development application to Mackay Regional Council the application will be assessed against the purposes of the Economic Development Act 2012 and the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme.

Development applications over land within the Mackay Waterfront are made against the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme, instead of the local planning scheme and assessed in accordance with the Economic Development Act 2012.

Development applications over land outside a PDA are made to and assessed by the local government authority in accordance with the Planning Act 2016 and the Mackay Region Planning Scheme.

There are nine Queensland heritage places and 50 local heritage places identified in the Mackay Waterfront. These heritage places will be preserved and re-purposed with a range of uses that complement and enhance the existing character of the Mackay City Centre. More information can be found on council’s heritage buildings interactive map and the Heritage and character overlay within the Mackay Region Planning Scheme on MiMAPS.