Wednesday, January 24, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Regional Projects Development Register Signals Bright Future For Region

Almost $45 billion worth of projects have been listed on the Greater Whitsunday Regional Projects Development Register 2024.

The register lists 472 projects which are valued at more than $1 million planned for the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region.

Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) Chief Executive Officer Ms Kylie Porter said the Greater Whitsunday Regional Projects Development Register clearly demonstrates the strong pipeline of development ahead for the region.

“This register showcases how strong our regional economy is across many different sectors, whether it be mining, construction or energy infrastructure.

“Our regional economy has a bright future, and this register is a clear demonstration of that. “Whilst the register lists more than 470 new projects, it doesn’t capture the many billions of dollars invested in our regional economy through regional businesses' cap-ex budgets.

Ms Porter said GW3 undertakes the Greater Whitsunday Project Development Register to identify key projects valued at over $1 million earmarked for the region.

Some of the key features of the register include:

• $4.1 billion in construction projects

• $6.1 billion in mining projects

• $11.3 billion infrastructure projects

• $21.4 billion in utilities projects

The Greater Whitsunday region is one of the world’s most diverse economic regions and contributes more than $58 billion in economic value to the Australian economy.

Ms Porter said the register demonstrates the economic strengths of the region and provides decision makers with a better understanding of development activity and opportunities across the region.

“Mackay is the centre of one of Australia’s most developed Mining Equipment, Technology and Service (METS) sectors; the Whitsundays is a world-class tourism destination with a growing agriculture and aquaculture sector and of course, metallurgical coal mining remains the cornerstone of the Isaac economy.

“The Greater Whitsunday region also boasts a strong agribusiness sector and is one of the nation’s largest sugar and biocommodity producers,” Ms Porter said.

Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors (GWCoM) Chair and Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions collectively delivered more bang for buck than most of Queensland.

“We continually deliver and power the national economy through our minerals, tourism, and agriculture - all world class in their own right.

“It’s important the infrastructure we build ensures the liveability and sustainability of our communities for generations to come,” Mayor Baker said.

Mackay Regional Council (MRC) Chief Executive Officer Mr Scott Owen said in 2023 council had awarded $196 million to locally based businesses, accounting for 77 per cent of council's total supplier spending going to local businesses. In addition to investing in numerous major works projects such as the Mackay Waterfront PDA, Finch Hatton Mountain Bike Trails and Northern Beaches Community Hub, Mackay Regional Council also invests in local businesses daily through its general operations.

"As one of the largest organisations in the region, we have substantial buying power, and it is important local businesses share in that investment.

"Local businesses employ local people and we have a responsibility to help build a strong economy and secure jobs in our region.

"We awarded contracts to 1115 local suppliers in 2023, with many of those being awarded significant projects.

"For example, Vasallo Constructions were awarded a $6.1 million tender to construct the Pioneer River Levee from Valetta Gardens to Kay Court and J Mac Constructions were awarded $900,000 for a bioretention basin renewal project at Ooralea,” he said.

Other major MRC contracts include:

•Seaforth Civil Pty Ltd: Culvert rehabilitation and upgrade works totalling $1.28m and bus stop upgrade works totalling $400k.

•J Mac Constructions: Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike – Finch Hatton Trailhead and Finch Hatton Pump Track $4.5 million.

•Woollam Constructions: Design and Construct Building Refurbishment at 8 River Street, Mackay totalling $3.75 million and Caneland Bus Station (Structural Works) totalling $2.1 million.

•C & A Construction Mackay: Concrete and civil works totalling $200k.

Mr Owen said the growth and development of the region's economy was a top priority for Mackay Regional Council and is dedicated to promoting local businesses and industry as part of this.

Mackay Sugar Chief Executive Officer Mr Jannik Olejas said in 2023, Mackay Sugar invested approximately $90M in maintenance and capital projects across their three factories and cane supply.

“We have, and continue to, invest in upgrading and future-proofing our mill assets to create a sustainable future for Mackay’s sugar industry,” he said.

C-RES Chief Executive Officer Ms Tracey Cuttriss- Smith said for more than 11 years, the Local Buying Foundation has been a proud funding partner for economic and business development initiatives and projects in Mackay, Isaac and the Central Highlands which focus on building stronger local business communities.

“We are passionate about developing regional economies through empowering small, local, and Indigenous businesses to grow and expand their capabilities.

“Thanks to BHP and BMA’s commitment to supporting local through the Local Buying Program, the Local Buying Foundation has proudly provided $8M of funding to enable the delivery of business workshops, leadership and mentoring programs, workforce development programs, Indigenous business support programs, decarbonisation projects, numerous networking and engagement opportunities, and much more.,” Ms Cuttriss-Smith said.

A glimpse into economic dynamism: Greater Whitsunday region unveils a staggering $45 billion in projects for 2024, showcasing diverse sectors like construction, mining, infrastructure, and utilities. One project is the refurbishment of 8 River Street awarded to Woollam Constructions

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