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.
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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.
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 The development scheme supersedes the Mackay Waterfront PDA Interim Land Use Plan, which no longer has effect.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.
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 www.mackay.qld.gov.au/business/planning_and_development/online_services/eapplications, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
- Development application form
- Extend currency period
- Endorsement of survey plan
- Permanent road closure
- Temporary road closure
For all development enquiries, please email email@example.com, 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
Why was this PDA declared?
The Mackay Waterfront 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 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, 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.
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 Development Scheme supports the potential public investment by facilitating a range of development and investment opportunities across the PDA under a streamlined assessment process.
Who prepared the Mackay Waterfront PDA development scheme?
The development scheme was prepared by Mackay Regional Council in consultation with Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and other state agencies.
What is the vision for the Mackay Waterfront PDA?
The vision for the Mackay Waterfront PDA is to 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.
Redevelopment will complement the diverse mix of activities and attractions of the City centre; and advance the region’s economy to establish a waterfront destination with enhanced recreation, lifestyle, tourism and investment opportunities. The delivery of the vision is to be guided by Council in partnership with the private sector and other government agencies.
Five precincts have been identified within the PDA, each offering unique attributes and redevelopment opportunities specific to their location:
- Precinct 1 - Mackay city centre
- Precinct 2 - Riverside
- Precinct 3 - Enterprise
- Precinct 4 - Queens Park
- Precinct 5 - Beachside
The Strategic Intent for the Mackay Waterfront PDA is for development to revitalise land and infrastructure within the Mackay city centre, along the Pioneer River waterfront, through Queens Park and along the Binnington Esplanade waterfront, creating social, liveability and economic benefits for the whole community.
New development and infrastructure delivers a diverse mix of activities and attractions, which builds on Mackay’s exceptional natural, cultural and heritage assets; increases the appeal of inner city living; diversifies the economy and boosts investment confidence; positively contributes to Mackay’s identity and community connections; and provides new attractive recreational spaces for the community.
Development will utilise the opportunities provided by the:
- redevelopment of the Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade waterfronts to deliver vibrant, active and engaging river and ocean waterfront destinations for Mackay and its visitors to visually and physically connect people and places with the water
- growth and advancement of the Mackay city centre as the primary business and innovation centre servicing ongoing population and economic development of Mackay and the Greater Whitsunday Region, which can accommodate new business investment opportunities
- establishment of an innovation and knowledge hub within the Enterprise precinct, which can accommodate new business investment and create employment opportunities that broaden and stabilise Mackay’s economic profile
- rejuvenation of Queens Park as a high amenity lifestyle and leisure destination.
Further information on the Mackay Waterfront PDA Vision is located on the Connecting Mackay website.
Who will undertake the development assessment for the Mackay Waterfront PDA?
The development assessment powers of the MEDQ under the Economic Development Act 2012 have been delegated to Mackay Regional Council, except for the assessment of State interests. Council will assess development applications against the purposes of the Economic Development Act 2012 and the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme. The power to assess State interests has been delegated to Economic Development Queensland. Mackay Regional Council will coordinate referral of applications to Economic Development Queensland for State interest review as part of the development assessment process.
What happens when a development application is made within the Mackay Waterfront PDA?
When lodging a development application to the Mackay Regional Council the application will be assessed against the purposes of the Economic Development Act 2012 and the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme.
How does the Economic Development Act 2012 development assessment process differ from the Planning Act 2016 development assessment process?
Development applications over land within a PDA are made against the Mackay Waterfront PDA Development Scheme, instead of the local planning scheme and assessed under the Economic Development Act 2012. Under this Act, the assessment process generally occurs within 40 business days. This timeframe does not include circumstances where there is a need for additional information or public notice of the application.
Development applications over land outside a PDA are made to and assessed by the local government authority under the Planning Act 2016 and the planning scheme.
How can you lodge a PDA development application with Mackay Regional Council?
The forms and processes for lodgement of a PDA development application to Mackay Regional Council can be found above in the Development assessment section of this webpage.
Will the heritage places within the Mackay Waterfront PDA be preserved?
There are nine state-listed and 50 local-listed heritage places identified in the PDA. These heritage places will be preserved and re-purposed with a range of uses that complement and enhance the existing character of the City Centre
Mackay Regional Council has a façade improvement scheme to support the revitalisation of building facades in the 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.
Will council’s Facilitating Development in the Mackay Region Policy apply within the Mackay Waterfront PDA?
Council’s adopted Facilitating Development in the Mackay Region Policy will apply to the range of eligible land uses within the Mackay Waterfront PDA. More information on council’s Policy can be accessed via the policy webpage.