Mackay Waterfront Development

Written by: Mayor Greg Williamson | Mackay Regional Council | April 1, 2020

Excitement continues to grow as plans for one of the biggest developments for Mackay’s future gets under way. 

The Mackay Waterfront is a game changer for the region. It will be a nationally recognised waterfront destination that will significantly increase the liveability, economic diversity and tourism appeal of the city and the region. Mackay Waterfront will deliver an active and engaging range of spaces and experiences that will unlock the character and true value of Mackay’s Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade (Town Beach). 

The Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) and its five precincts have now been incorporated into a master plan, which details the public realm vision and concepts. The vision aims to connect Mackay and its visitors to the water and promote the city as a key regional business and innovation hub, while supporting new industries to establish in the region and allowing existing industries to thrive. It will provide a range of exciting and activated public spaces and attractions that improve the city’s liveability, tourism and investment appeal. It will also celebrate Mackay’s culture and identity and share the story of our distinct character and heritage.


Mackay Waterfront will deliver an active and engaging range of spaces and experiences that will unlock the character and true value of Mackay’s Pioneer River and Binnington Esplanade.


The five precincts are City Centre, Riverside, Enterprise, Queens Park and Beachside. Each unique precinct offers exciting opportunities for both residents and investors to connect and participate.

Queens Park, the “Green Heart” of the Mackay Waterfront is the first stage to undergo redevelopment to the value of $8.86 million, thanks to support from the State Government (scheduled for completion by June 2020). 

The Riverside precinct is the next immediate priority, with a public riverside promenade offering generous space for retail, outdoor activities and public realm upgrades. 

Mackay Regional Council is actively seeking government funding for a small section in Riverside precinct, which will be a demonstration of what this whole area will look like when complete. It will allow us to access the river and include walkways and extra lighting in a section of about 500 metres. It will show how we can open that area up and display its potential. Works are scheduled to commence in 2021. We cannot just solely rely on government for this whole project. Council is actively looking for investors to drive catalytic projects in a public / private partnership if necessary. The private sector working alongside council and government will ensure this amazing project is realised for our region.

Investment opportunities include commercial and residential development sites positioned along the Pioneer River, boutique industrial revitalisation, key recreational enhancements, cafés, restaurants and a function centre. There will also be an opportunity for nature-based tourism, including boat tours, aquatic and active recreation. Development incentives are being offered to eligible project proponents and council has a professional team dedicated to the ongoing enhancement and promotion of the area to ensure its success well into the future.

These are exciting times for our community as we look to open up our beautiful river and beachfront. This project gives us the opportunity to tell the world why Mackay is the place for anyone wanting to live, work and play in the best regional community in Australia.

Success North Queensland