GW3 CEO Kylie Porter said mining, agrictulture, tourism and the METS sectors were vital in the region’s recovery from coronavirus.
GW3 CEO Kylie Porter said mining, agrictulture, tourism and the METS sectors were vital in the region’s recovery from coronavirus.

NEW PLAYBOOK: How Mackay can chart course to prosperity

INDUSTRY leaders are looking at the bigger picture when it comes to Mackay's economic bounceback with major projects earmarked to stimulate the region's growth.

Mining, METS, agriculture and tourism have been named as the driving force behind our Covid-19 recovery plan.

While the reopening of businesses is vital, GW3 CEO Kylie Porter said our resources sector must pave the way in the critical weeks and months to come.

Mackay’s mining sector is vital in stimulating the economy.
Mackay’s mining sector is vital in stimulating the economy.

With Scott Morrison announcing a decision to ease restrictions would be made this Friday, Ms Porter said it was vital the government provided a clear framework for the state so business owners could "prepare and plan".

She believes Mackay has the resilience and resources to lead the state economy out of its current predicament.

"Every government in the world will be looking at their economy right now and deciding how they will spend money to create jobs," she said.

"All of the essential infrastructure projects that will help us out of this rut will require steel, and that steel will come from our region's coal.

"The global demand for our coal will only grow during the recovery phase of this pandemic."

 

The Prime Ministers agreed to start looking at easing restrictions, with more information to be provided on Friday. Picture: Rohan Thomson
The Prime Ministers agreed to start looking at easing restrictions, with more information to be provided on Friday. Picture: Rohan Thomson

The Prime Minister said he feared for Australia's future if the huge $4 billion a week cost to the economy were to continue.

He said lifting restrictions was necessary so people could reopen their businesses and go back to their offices.

The tourism industry, perhaps the worst hit by coronavirus travel restrictions and on the back of poor visitation after shark attacks, is reliant on a return to normality.

Mackay Tourism CEO Tas Webber said getting tourism operators back to business was incredibly important for the economy, but investment into infrastructure projects throughout the region was priority.

"This will stimulate economic growth in the short term, while also benefiting the region in the long term," he said.

"Marketing campaigns will also be crucial in ensuring our region is at the top of people's travel wish list once restrictions have lifted."

 

Mackay Tourism CEO Tas Webber pictured with Mackay mayor Greg Williamson.
Mackay Tourism CEO Tas Webber pictured with Mackay mayor Greg Williamson.

Mr Webber said Mackay Tourism was actively working with each level of government to obtain the necessary funding for tourism's recovery post Covid-19.

Working alongside Mackay Tourism is Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce, which is advocating for a clear plan and formalised recommendations for business owners.

Chamber vice president Simon Vigliante said clarity would give everyone more confidence.

"At the moment we are flying blind," he said.

"It's not just the restaurant owners, it is the mums and dads wanting to build a house, the community groups wanting to organise events, the year 12 students wanting to decide on a university course for next year."

Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce vice president Simon Vigliante. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce vice president Simon Vigliante. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Mackay's mining and agriculture sectors were operating well, but Mr Vigliante said the region could do a lot more to benefit from that value chain.

Urannah Dam, opportunities in the farmed seafood area, the Milton Precinct (international freight hub) and the port of Mackay were all projects that could help Mackay in bouncing back stronger than ever post pandemic.

"The Mackay port now has the capability for 'roll-on, roll-off' gear to be driven straight off the ships and to the mines, yet the majority of equipment is still going through Brisbane," Mr Vigliante said.

"I think it is time we take advantage of every opportunity we have in front of us."

The Federal Government had created guidelines for the reopening of a wide range of workplaces but detailed information yet to be announced.