Investigation begins into a new home for Mackay biofutures industries

Published Thursday, 20 April, 2023 at 01:16 PM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

  • Mackay could become home to a new State Development Area (SDA) for its growing local biofutures industries
  • It would be home to industries making food, fuel, feed and fibre products, by adding value to plant-based output from traditional local industries, including sugar
  • The investigation will involve discussions with the local government and business sectors as well as public consultation

Mackay could become home to a new Queensland biofutures area focused on industries making products from sustainable plant-based resources.

A Queensland Government project team has been formed to investigate whether a suitable site in the region could be declared as a State Development Area (SDA).

The project team will be led by Queensland’s Coordinator-General and will consider the potential for a site for what would become Queensland’s newest SDA.

The Coordinator-General is responsible for planning, establishing and managing SDAs.

It’s possible a decision about a SDA could be made late in 2023 and work on a development scheme for an SDA could begin in 2024.

Queensland currently has 12 SDAs in locations including Cairns, Townsville, Abbot Point, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles:

“Mackay has enormous potential as a leader in the future industries finding new ways to make the food, fibre, feed and fuel the world needs.

“The declaration of a State Development Area (SDA) in Mackay could help leverage the region’s traditional strengths in rural industries, such as cane growing and milling, and create new industries and jobs.

“The Queensland Government will be fully discussing the possibilities with local stakeholders and holding public consultation so everyone can have their say.”

Quotes attributable to Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert:

“A Mackay State Development Area would transform the region into a space where businesses could be brought together to form value chains in industries like biomanufacturing and bioenergy.”

“These are the industries that could utilise our wonderful locally sourced, plant-based organic materials to make everything from fermented foods to aviation fuel.

“An SDA could be the key to unlocking future opportunities and creating good jobs in exciting new industries while protecting existing jobs in traditional industries like sugar.”

Further information on Queensland BioFutures:

The updated Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan (June 2022) ( 2.8 MB) sets out the vision for the sector.

The Mackay region is the proposed site for a Future Foods BioHub that would provide the foundation infrastructure for a commercial-scale biofoods industry.

The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with company Cauldron which is conducting a pre-feasibility business case for a fermented foods contract-manufacturing facility.

Mercurius has also established a biorefinery pilot plant in Mackay for the use of sugarcane in the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.


Emilia Hutchinson - 0437 060 435