Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area


About the Priority Development Area

The Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared on 25 May 2018 at the request of Mackay Regional Council (council).

The PDA is approximately 172 hectares and is centrally located within the Mackay urban area and includes land and water along the southern side of the Pioneer River, including the City centre core, and extends east to the adjacent coastal water frontage along Binnington Esplanade (Town Beach).

The PDA is in close proximity to the Mackay Airport, major road infrastructure (Bruce Highway and Peak Downs Highway) and the Port of Mackay.

The PDA provides 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 Regional Council is responsible for development assessment within the PDA and stakeholders are encouraged to contact council if they are seeking information about the PDA.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date on the progress of the Mackay Waterfront with project update emails.


Mackay Waterfront Masterplan

Mackay has the unique advantage of boasting both riverfront and beachfront next to the city centre. The Mackay Waterfront will establish a range of culturally vibrant, accessible, liveable and attractive places that supports growth, investment and development of Mackay.

The Mackay Waterfront will be an expression of a mixed–use live, work and play waterfront environment that meets the needs of current and future residents and visitors, whilst celebrating its regional and river city focus, heritage assets, climate and local identity. A active and vibrant waterfront setting affords an exciting opportunity to improve the region’s liveability and regional economy.

The Mackay Waterfront Master Plan highlights a number of public realm and investment opportunities across the five PDA precincts to:

  • 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 Mackay Waterfront Master Plan is supported by site-wide and precinct level strategies for infrastructure and public realm delivery to guide future public and private development.

The public has played an integral part in the vision and objectives for this project with consultation starting in 2017 and will continue throughout the life of the project. 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.

The Mackay Waterfront Master Plan will be a living document to inform future design that responds to opportunities and constraints as they emerge.

Adoption of the Mackay Waterfront 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.

Public notification of the proposed development scheme for the Mackay Waterfront PDA was held from 5 November to 19 December 2018 (the submission period). During the submission period, all interested parties, including the community, residents, and business operators, were invited to view the proposed development scheme and make a written submission to the Mackay Regional Council.

A PDA submissions report has been prepared and summarises the submissions received during public notification of the development scheme and the merits of those submissions. Amendments were made to the proposed development scheme as a result of matters raised in submissions.

Download the Mackay Waterfront PDA Submissions Report

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.

All development applications proposed within the PDA will now be assessed against the development scheme.

Download the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme

Development assessment

Prior to lodgement, 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, 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, call 1300 MACKAY, or post to the Mackay Regional Council Development Assessment Team, PO Box 41, Mackay QLD 4740.

PDA Development Application fees and charges

PDA Development Application fees are in accordance with council’s Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Application Fees and Charges, which are the same as council’s adopted Cost Recovery Fees and Charges.

Development infrastructure charges applicable to development within the PDA are in accordance with council’s Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution as until such time the Development Charges and Offset Plan comes into effect (DCOP). The DCOP is being prepared and will undergo community consultation in due course before it is finalised.

Mackay Waterfront PDA FAQs