10 Mackay development projects we can't wait to see
BILLIONS of dollars worth of development is in the pipeline ahead of an expected boom in the population of Mackay over the next couple of decades.
The projects will alter the region substantially in coming months and years.
Some of the better known undertakings include the Mackay Ring Road, Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex and Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area.
Others include development on Keswick Island and an overhaul of Caneland Central shopping centre.
Below are some of the projects set to shape the local government area:
The new $23.9million sports precinct set on 12 hectares at CQUniversity's Ooralea campus is due to open within weeks.
The precinct will include three state-of-the-art swimming pools, a synthetic athletics track and a multi-use playing surface.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the complex would "put us on the sporting map" and bring a range of state and national competitions to the city. Belgravia Leisure will manage the centre.
Mackay Ring Road
Floated for more than a decade, construction has now started on the bypass, which is expected to cost almost $1billion.
Stage 1 of the ring road is an 11.3km route that will connect the Bruce Highway at Stockroute Rd roundabout in the south to Bald Hill Rd intersection in the north.
The project is being undertaken to reduce heavy vehicle traffic through Mackay and to provide an improved link from the south to the northern suburbs.
Mackay Regional Council has declared the Priority Development Area to establish the necessary policy framework supporting development.
The council hopes to see the Mackay waterfront developed to "revitalise land and infrastructure within the Mackay city centre, along the Pioneer River waterfront, through Queens Park and along the Binnington Esplanade waterfront".
An innovation and knowledge hub is expected to be established within the precinct, accommodating new business investment and creating employment opportunities.
It's been a talking point for decades, but it seems the long-awaited Walkerston Bypass will finally be built.
Construction on the project, at a cost of about $150million, is due to begin in mid-2020, according to the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
The 10.4km link between the Peak Downs Highway and the southern end of Mackay Ring Road, around the town of Walkerston, aims to provide a safer and more efficient link from the northern Bowen Basin to Mackay, and the industrial area of Paget in particular.
Mirani Solar Farm
The proposed Mirani Solar Farm, set to be based between the townships of Mirani and Gargett, will cost about $110million, according to developer ESCO Pacific.
It is expected the renewable energy project will end up outputting up to 60 megawatts.
The solar farm will cover about 173 hectares and include about 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.
Construction of the project, expected to create about 100 jobs, is expected to start this year.
Caneland Central Redevelopment
Lendlease, the owner of Caneland Central shopping centre, has received approval from MRC for an expansion.
The multi-million dollar redevelopment was set to include a Vmax movie theatre, more restaurants and an increased number of undercover car parks.
Keswick Island redevelopment
It was reported in mid-2018 that the picturesque island off the coast of Mackay could be in line for an overhaul.
The Daily Mercury understands the 53-hectare island 34 kilometres off the Mackay coast was sold to developers after several years on the market.
In its marketing campaign, Colliers International agents described the island as a "unique property investment for luxury tourism developers and investors".
Colliers said it had obtained planning approval for a large-scale island development with mixed residential and tourism development. The approval also included a marina permit.
During their marketing campaign, Colliers International agents touted the island as being a "unique property investment for luxury tourism developers and investors".
Sarina Hospital Redevelopment
Planning for the redevelopment of Sarina Hospital has been progressing after the project received a funding allocation of $16million from the Department of Health.
Mackay Hospital and Health Services provided the update in its 2017-18 annual report. The plans for the project are expected to include modern facilities and equipment.
Shoal Point Waters expansion
Pointglen Developments managing director Vic Vassallo expects his Shoal Point Waters development will expand from 70 homes to 1500 residential lots over the next 10-15 years.
However, if the region's forecast population boom occurs as expected, that timeframe may be shortened. Mr Vassallo said he has been waiting on the perfect time to expand and the time was right to proceed.
An artificial lake, just weeks away from completion, has been described as the centrepiece of the community.
Great Barrier Reef Arena
Harrup Park Country Club has detailed plans for an upgrade costing in the range of $37million. It's set to include an upgrade to the club's main cricket and Aussie rules playing ground in a bid to secure regular AFL and Big Bash matches.
The arena development would be delivered in two stages, the first of which would include the 'North Stand' - boasting four levels housing new player, media and match official facilities, alongside new covered modular seating.