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Greater Whitsunday Region

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The Greater Whitsunday region covers 90,354 square km. Comprising of the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday local government areas, the Greater Whitsunday Region is encompassed by St Lawrence in the south, Gumlu in the north to Clermont in the west and the Great Barrier Reef Whitsunday’s group of 74 islands to the east.

The region is one of the most naturally beautiful and resource-rich locations in Australia contributing more than $46 billion in economic output to the Australian economy. From the largest coal mining deposits in Australia, the Bowen and Galilee basins, the iconic Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands and boasting a diverse agricultural industry which provides over $1.46 billion to the Queensland economy, the region is an economic powerhouse that is key to Queensland’s economy. (REMPLAN 2020 release 2)

Key Feature of the Greater Whitsunday Region



(Source: Estimated Residential Population Queensland Government Statisticians 2020)


  • 2.7% unemployment
  • Labour force 99,700

(Source: Queensland Government Statisticians Office, Nov 2021)

Industry Strengths

  • One of the world’s most diverse economic regions with a gross regional product of approximately $25.044 billion, across key industry sectors such as mining, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, tourism and construction.
  • Strong forecast of development activity with over $13.5 billion worth of construction work across more than 140 projects in the pipeline (Cordell Connect, Jan 2022).
  • Key infrastructure includes three regional airports, two deep water seaports, three bulk shipping terminals, and a reliable freight service rail network.
  • The largest mining services industrial precinct in the southern hemisphere, the Paget Industrial Estate, is home to over 500 mining and manufacturing businesses.
  • Mining projects in the Greater Whitsunday region were valued at $17.7 billion in 2021. (Source REMPLAN 2020 release 2).
  • Majority of Queensland’s prime coking coal is mined in the Bowen and Galilee Basins.
  • Access to higher education and research opportunities through Central Queensland University, and the QUT Biocommodities Pilot Plant.
  • Biofutures expertise, green field investment opportunities, access to the QUT Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant and Wilmar BioEthanol refinery.
  • An emerging industrial biotechnology and biomedical research sector with expertise in research and development (translational and clinical). The Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation, and the Coral Sea Clinical Research Institute.
  • A strong and diverse agricultural sector:
    • approximately 29% of Australia’s sugar cane, (Australian Sugar Milling 2020).
    • the largest horticultural winter produce growing region ($450 million in value annually, ABC Rural 2021).
    • The beef cattle industry represents 11% of market valued at $613 million. (Growing Greater Whitsunday Agribusiness – Report for Stage 1 – Planting the seed – RDA-MIW 2019).
  • A burgeoning prawn aquaculture sector with annual production rates forecast to grow from 5,000 tonnes in 2020 to 20,000 tonnes by 2030. (Source Tassal 2020)
  • Tourism attracts approximately two million domestic and international overnight visitors annually (TEQ, March 2020).
  • Areas like the Finch Hatton Gorge, Eungella National Park and Cape Hillsborough are driving innovation and promoting the region as a world-class ecotourism destination.

Additional Key Industries

  • Aviation
  • Beef processing
  • Biobased products
  • Education
  • Energy production / renewable energy
  • Food and beverage
  • Manufacturing / engineering
    • Craft brewing
    • Fabricated metal production
    • Food manufacturing
    • Light industries
    • Rail manufacturing
  • Marine
  • Retail trade

Key projects

  • Walkerston Bypass
  • Old Mackay Fire Station
  • Mackay Biofutures Precinct
  • Superyachts and Maritime Industry
  • Eden Lassie Agave Distillery
  • Gilmore Space Abbot Point Launch site

Regional Projects Funded

  • Harrup Park
  • QUT Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant Expansion
  • Clermont Saleyards
  • Signature OnFarm
  • Aquaculture and Agriculture Tech hub
  • Mackay Alternative Sugar Cane Processing Facility

Local business services and support

The Greater Whitsunday regional office is one of 11 regional offices across Queensland ensuring economic prosperity and liveable communities.

We develop strategic alliances to catalyse private sector investment and develop industry supply chains. We do this by pursuing new private sector projects in priority industries including renewable energy, critical minerals, hydrogen, biofuels, and waste management.

We increase Queensland content in the supply chains of major projects by providing local businesses with full, fair, and reasonable opportunities to participate in government and non-government projects across Queensland. This is done by delivering a range of activities to support local businesses find project opportunities, compete for work, and improve their tendering and supply chain capabilities. View all upcoming events and opportunities in the region on the events page.

We maximised local business participation in the following major projects:

QCoal $1.76 billion Byerwen Mine

Resulted in 35% local and regional supply project spend. On operation spend costs only, over 65% supply came from Queensland-based businesses.

CPB Contractors $497.3 million Mackay Ring Road (Stage one)

More than 80% of people involved in this project were from the Greater Whitsunday Region including builders, suppliers, landscapers, engineers, and traffic workers.

Goldwind Australia $1 billion Clarke Creek Wind Farm

Connected more than 380 regional business with Goldwind Australia via industry briefing sessions.

Looking to strengthen your regional supply chain?

Please contact us to discuss how we:

  • Assist major contractors and subcontractors to develop local content strategies
  • Build regional supply chain capability and capacity
  • Assist regional businesses to prepare effective capability statements
  • Advise regional businesses on government and private-sector tendering processes
  • Link regional industry with project information
  • Connect industry with government support

Phone: 07 4898 6800  Email:

Last updated: 16 Sep 2022