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Business advantages in Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday

23/01/2013 11:08 PM

Business advantages in Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday

Over the past decade Queensland's Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region has experienced significant economic growth, mainly fuelled by global demand for resources. The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region spans from the Whitsunday Islands on the coast to the Isaac hinterland. The wetland systems are a favourite for anglers chasing world-renowned barramundi, and are home to the ancient estuarine crocodile.

Industry growth areas in Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday

Your business or investment will benefit from continued growth in mining and energy services and strong agriculture and tourism sectors.

Mining services

Mackay and Moranbah are major service centres for the region and support the coal mining operations of the Bowen and Galilee basins. The Bowen Basin is home to some of the world's best quality coal reserves and is the largest coal reserve in Australia.

Find out more about investing in Queensland's mining services, equipment and technologies industry.

Alternative energy technology

New activity in the Galilee Basin and opportunities in alternative energy, fuels and bio-based industrial products will see this area expand its coal interests to also become a leading producer of bio-based products in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. Expansion will require development of pipeline, transport and electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Skills such as engineering and construction trades will continue to be in demand.

Find out more about investing in Queensland's bioindustries and renewable energy industry.

Port infrastructure and marine services

Mackay's general cargo port is vital for fuel distribution into resource areas, with coal ports at both Hay and AbbottPoint. There are opportunities to use both developed and undeveloped industrial land at the port of Mackay for activities relating to:

  • sugar, grain and fuel
  • the shipping function of the port
  • other port-related industrial development
  • marine services activity
  • cold storage facilities.

The Port of Abbot Point is Australia's most northerly deep water coal port. Over the next 20 years the Queensland coal industry will be increasing production to around 340 million tonnes per annum with the Port of Abbot Point meeting a large portion of the required port capacity. This will help Queensland meet the growing global demand for our high quality coal.

The Queensland mining industry is supported by these major ports in a variety of ways. The proximity to deepwater ports, a competitive rail system, bulk water and a low cost, reliable electricity supply have combined to help establish the region as a major hub for energy-intensive mineral processing industries, particularly alumina, aluminium and magnesia.


The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region has a resilient agricultural sector and Queensland's largest sugar region. Opportunities exist to add further value to our produce prior to export. Queensland's crop producing lands are among Australia's most valuable; expansion will see demand grow for transport infrastructure to allow produce to be kept fresh for domestic and overseas markets.

The region has a long established sugar industry with extensive, integrated transport facilities, established markets and 5 milling facilities. The main areas of sugar cane production are Mackay City, Sarina, Mirani, Whitsunday and the Western region of Isaac. The established sugar and agricultural industries, along with a resources-based economy, provide a strong foundation for regional industry expansion. 

The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region is home to 5 sugar mills: Racecourse, Proserpine, Farleigh, Sarina and Marian. These mills produce around 420,000t of refined sugar per year, which is about one-third of the total refined sugar in Australia.  Growing global demand for bio-fuels is increasing demand for sugar cane production and placing upward pressure on prices. With some overseas sugar cane producers diverting production to ethanol rather than sugar production, this can reduce international supply and, as a result, increase demand for Australian sugar.

Find out more about investing in Queensland's food and agribusiness industry.


The manufacturing industry is the fifth largest employer of residents in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region, accounting for 8% of the labour force. Manufacturing is mainly heavy fabrication and mining-related maintenance, supporting the industry through all stages of the mining process - from exploration to mine site rehabilitation. 

The region boasts 20 training firms that can deliver high growth services like mining safety and risk management for manufacturing companies. Another feature of the region is Paget Industrial Estate which is home to a range of engineering companies, many of which export services and equipment to countries including China, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Ghana.

Find out more about investing in Queensland's advanced manufacturing industry


The Whitsunday Islands and coastal regions are a prime tourist destination supported by moern airport infrastructure. Ongoing investment in social infrastructure to support liveability in regions will also support the growing tourism industry. Business tourism is very strong in the region and has encouraged new investment commitments.

Find out more about investing in Queensland's tourism industry.

Did you know?

The Whitsundays is a chain of 74 mountainous offshore islands sitting on the continental shelf. Beyond them is the Great Barrier Reef, a series of coral formations stretching for about 2000 kilometres.

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