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Mackay State Development Area

The Mackay State Development Area (SDA) was established to provide a unique opportunity to diversify economy-boosting industrial development in the Mackay region, including renewable energy and biofutures industries, creating jobs and strengthening the Greater Whitsunday economy.

Declared in February 2024, the 907 hectare Mackay SDA incorporates two distinct areas:

  • the Racecourse area, comprising 137 ha is centered around the established Racecourse Mill, approximately 5 kilometres (km) west of Mackay
  • the Rosella area features 770 ha and is located 10 km from Mackay and south of Paget.

The Mackay SDA regulation map ( 4.1 MB) defines the boundary of the Mackay SDA.


The Mackay SDA is situated within one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.

The Mackay region has historically been built on the back of agriculture industry including fruit, vegetables, nuts and grazing. More recently, the Mackay region has been dominated by a thriving resources industry that includes a significant mining equipment, technology and services industry cluster.

Today Mackay is a strategically significant location for emerging industries given its abundant feedstocks, a favourable tropical climate, efficient mature and modern agricultural industry, strong manufacturing base, world-class expertise in research and development, proximity to employment catchments, reliable and efficient transport infrastructure and proximity to global markets through the multi-commodity Port of Mackay and port of Hay Point.

The development and investment opportunities the Mackay SDA present for biofutures industries will further diversify the Mackay region’s economy.

Industry attraction and project facilitation.
Managing incompatible land use.
Create strategic land for emerging industries.
Ready access to significant rail and road networks.
Promoting a diversified regional economy.
Providing employment and growth opportunities.
State supported planning for commercial-scale industries.
Preserving land for future growth opportunities.

Both areas of the Mackay SDA offer their own unique opportunities.

Racecourse area

  • Offers short to medium term opportunities for pilot and demonstration commercial-scale projects.
  • Opportunity to co-locate with the existing sugar mill and build on the existing infrastructure supporting the sugar refinery and co-generation facilities.
  • Mackay Sugar Limited owns a large proportion of land within the SDA, providing opportunities for master planning and development.
  • Direct access to the Peak Downs Highway and adjacent to the Mackay Ring Road.

Rosella area

  • This strategic location has been acknowledged in both Council and State Government planning frameworks for medium to long term industrial development.
  • Economic Development Queensland, the Queensland Government’s land use planning and property development agency, owns approximately 211 ha within the Rosella area.
  • Suitable topography, the area is relatively flat with only minor contouring.
  • Transport linkages with the North Coast Rail Line and the Bruce Highway bisecting the area.
  • Well separated from residential communities and areas of environmental significance.


In April 2023, the Queensland Government announced an investigation into a potential SDA in Mackay.

The Queensland Government is committed to facilitating new and emerging industry growth in this region - this is underpinned by the Queensland New Industry Development Strategy and the Queensland Government’s Queensland Biofutures 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan.

  • Feedback was sought on the potential Mackay SDA and its boundary between August and September 2023.

Following consultation, the Coordinator-General considered issues raised through the consultation process and development opportunities of the SDA to achieve a balanced outcome. The overall size of the SDA was reduced, and the boundary was changed to better align with the regional plan and existing boundaries, including, roads, railway lines and property boundaries.

Next steps

Now that the Mackay SDA has been declared, a development scheme will be prepared to guide future development in the SDA.

Further technical studies will be undertaken to inform the content of the development scheme and guide:

  • conceptual lot layouts of future industry areas and interface requirements
  • detailed infrastructure planning to confirm the water, sewer and power requirements of future development and requirements for stormwater management and flood mitigation
  • future roads and intersections layouts required to service development in the SDA.

Stakeholder and community feedback will also continue throughout the preparation. The Office of the Coordinator-General will work closely with landowners, stakeholders, local and State government agencies, and the wider Mackay community to explore and refine the contents of the development scheme.

It is only after a development scheme has been approved that new rules and regulations come into effect and the Coordinator-General controls land use and development outcomes.

Last updated: 04 Mar 2024