Mackay Growth

Mackay suffered a major flood in 2008, and has born the brunt of some minor cyclones over years but was very lucky in early 2015, to totally escape the wrath of Cyclone Marcia. It remained a flourishing area until the recent downturn in coal prices which saw a rise in unemployment and the closure of various service businesses. The economy has a broad base and includes mining, sugar, cattle, and tourism. Sugar was in the doldrums due to massive rainfalls which wiped out a lot of the crops at the end of 2010, however this sector has since picked up but is now faced with very low prices.

The fountain at Mackay Regional Council.

Fountain at the Mackay Regional Council

My favourite big number has been 147 for many years so it was no surprise to read 14,700 people moved to our general area during the 2011-2012 period. Mackay had the second fastest growth of all regional areas. From 2007 to 2011 Mackay region had a 7.2 percent increase in population. Population of the area is 121,909 people who represent 25 nationalities. This figure may show a decline in the next census as the mining downturn, and introduction of Fly In Fly Out has seen many people leave the area.

Although the agricultural industry declined by 15.1 percent, all other areas of industry showed consistent growth and the labour force increased by 31.9 percent. House prices fell dramatically during the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, and with that also came a lowering of rents which had become very high.

Roadworks Program

Mackay Regional Council began a $60 million roadworks program at the beginning of 2013 which included Paradise Street, Juliet Street, Bridge Road, Shakespeare Street, and Archibald Street. Funding was by MRC and the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements program. Roadworks continue unabated.

Redevelopment of Mackay Base Hospital

Mackay Base Hospital is at the end of a huge redevelopment, worth $334 million, which includes four buildings and external works. While the end result will be of great benefit to the residents of Mackay and district, the work has caused havoc for people seeking medical help and for visitors. Parking is at a premium and elderly people and those who are sick are seen many times each day making a long walk from the end of Streeter Avenue, in the heat of summer, to the hospital - and then back again. A very good way to get even sicker.

One of the shopping centres, Canelands, has now completed the stage two extension plus a multi level car park worth $157 million. Another shopping centre at Northern Beaches cost $5 million for 17 specialty shops and construction of a supermarket.

Stadium and other construction

The cost of the new stadium was $8 million, Ergon spent $32 million on new offices, and a workshop and a diesel storage tank at the harbour cost $6.6 million.

Education spending included $5 million at Mackay Christian College and $8 million for student accommodation at CQU.

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This page was updated by Diana Kupke (Diana Mann) on 31 May 2020