Community to have say on Mackay SDA

Published Wednesday, 16 August, 2023 at 01:02 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 Queensland’s newest State Development Area (SDA), with two sites being considered to be declared SDA
  • Investigations are progressing to unlock land to grow new industries making sustainable food, fibre, feed and fuel products
  • Community consultation on the proposed Mackay SDA and its boundary is open and will run until 15 September 2023

Community members can have their say on a proposed State Development Area (SDA) for Mackay, which is set to unlock industrial land and grow exciting new industries.

Investigations led by the Office of the Coordinator-General have highlighted two areas for a future industrial hub, at Racecourse Mill and Rosella. Together, these sites cover a total area of about 1019 hectares.

The proposed SDA will focus on developing new industries critical to the global shift to net zero, such as biomanufacturing, renewable energy and green jet fuel.

The declaration of an SDA would position Mackay to tap into this growing market, while leveraging its strengths in rural industries such as cane growing and sugar production.

Public consultation will run until 15 September, with submissions received during that time to be considered before a final decision is made.

Mackay is the proposed location for a world-leading Future Foods BioHub that would provide the anchor infrastructure for a commercial-scale bioproducts industry.

The Palaszczuk Government’s State Budget delivered $45 million over three years to unlock industrial land in Mackay and Gladstone.

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Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles:

“The declaration of a State Development Area would help unlock Mackay’s potential as a global leader in industries taking off in a decarbonising world.

“A much-needed boost in industrial land for Mackay will deliver huge economic benefits, creating good local jobs and new export and investment opportunities.

“Many of our regional industries are growing thanks to their local State Development Areas.

“The investigation into a Mackay SDA coincides with the Queensland Government’s New Industry Development Strategy, which focuses on creating opportunities for cleaner, greener products.

“This SDA would catalyse new commercial-scale industries, while leveraging the region’s strengths in agriculture and manufacturing, to produce everything from sustainable aviation fuel to fermented foods.” 

Quotes attributable to Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert:

“Unlocking industrial land will pave the way for Mackay to host commercial-scale and high-value industry opportunities that would serve a key role in global supply chains.

“The region is poised to capitalise on growing demand for bioproducts due to its rich supply of feedstock, transport networks and port and manufacturing strengths.

“This is a proposal that will shape the region’s economic future so we’re inviting members of the community to have their say.

“We’re also working closely with Mackay Regional Council and other key stakeholders throughout the investigation and consultation process.

“This is all part of building bigger and better communities across the state and a strong economic future for our regions.”

Quotes attributable to Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson:

“Mackay is a leader when it comes to bioproducts and has been practising bioeconomy principles for more than 100 years through the sugar cane industry.

“Earlier this year, US company Mercurius commenced operations at its new pilot biorefinery plant in Mackay, which makes use of sugarcane waste to create renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

“We look forward to supporting the Queensland Government in its plans to unlock more industrial land in our region for similar projects.

“We are also excited for the construction of a world-class Future Foods BioHub in Mackay and the opportunities it presents.

“Projects like this will increase the liveability and livelihood of our region by creating new jobs for locals and unlocking the industries of the future.”

Quotes attributable to Mackay Sugar CEO Jannik Olejas:

“The Sugar Industry has played an important role in creating a sustainable future for our region for decades.

“Mackay Sugar with its Racecourse Mill has already been generating large volumes of renewable electricity for more than 10 years, which has been one way of creating more value here in Mackay.

“We look forward to progressing further towards creating more value in our region – building on our local sugar industry strengths today in both the agricultural sector and the manufacturing capabilities.

This is an important step in attracting investment and inviting new companies into our region to enrich our ‘value chain’ and make the sugar industry’s ‘Sugar Plus’  roadmap come to life.”

Further information:

Queensland’s Coordinator-General is responsible for planning, establishing and managing SDAs.

There are currently 12 SDAs across the state, including in Cairns, Townsville, Abbot Point, Gladstone and Bundaberg.


Media contact: Emilia Hutchinson 0437 060 435