Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said stages two and three of the ring road were crucial pieces of infrastructure for Mackay's support of the Bowen Basin.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said stages two and three of the ring road were crucial pieces of infrastructure for Mackay's support of the Bowen Basin. Emma Murray

Billions to be splashed out on regional development

MORE than a billion dollars worth of infrastructure, construction and utilities projects have been registered for Mackay within the next decade.

This is according to data sourced by CoreLogic, and collected by the Greater Whitsunday Alliance which released the Regional Projects Development Register on Wednesday.

More than $30billion worth of projects have been listed on GW3's updated register, with 451 projects and developments in the works for the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region.

The Isaac region brings more than $13billion in mining projects over the next two decades and the Whitsunday region has more than $7billion in infrastructure.

GW3 chief Garry Scanlan said CoreLogic used a wide range of data sources to collect and validate information, including local and State government and media reporting, along with Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regional councils' contributions.

"The construction sector is showing excellent signs of recovery, with more than $5billion worth of projects planned across the three regions," Mr Scanlan said.

"This has increased from the $4billion worth of projects planned in August 2018."

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the variety of different projects listed on the register showed the vibrance of the Mackay region.

"Stages two and three of the Mackay Ring Road is exceptionally important for the region," Cr Williamson said.

"It's important to develop our port to its full capacity ... all our infrastructure requirements for the Bowen Basin come through our port. So the final stages of the ring road, for a whole host of reasons, are very important for our region.

"The Walkerston Bypass is another very important commitment, which will commence after stage one of the ring road is completed.

"When important assets like these are in the works, it gives us the opportunity to show potential developers that Mackay is an excellent investment."

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said a resurgent resources sector provided a catalyst for projects across the region.

"We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and what we are seeing in Isaac is that resources companies are making strategic long-term investments in the region," Cr Baker said.

"In recent weeks we have seen approvals for significant resources projects in the Bowen Basin, including Winchester South and Olive Downs.

"Plus, there has been a shift in the national conversation about the economic potential which can be unlocked in the Galilee Basin.

"There is a pipeline of projects in the resources, renewables and agricultural sector which will help to sustain our regional economy and that of the Greater Whitsunday region.

Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox said there were many exciting projects on the register for the Whitsundays, including the Urannah Dam and North Galilee Basin Rail Carmichael Rail Project.

"Urannah Dam will deliver water for the Galilee Basin, unlock agricultural land around Collinsville and top up water in the Peter Faust Dam," Cr Willcox said.

"That project alone will support the region's three pillar industries that underpin our economy - mining, agriculture and tourism.

"The Carmichael Rail Project will link the Galilee Basin to our port facility at Abbot Point. Most of that rail line will be in the Whitsunday regional area and that means jobs in its construction.

"There will also be more trains on the track, and we will be pushing for a service facility in our region to service all those extra trains. And there will be more coal coming through our port, which means more workers and eventually expansion.

"What both of those projects mean for the Whitsundays is jobs and economic stimulus, and that will benefit the entire Whitsunday Region."