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The Queensland Government has declared a priority development area on 170ha within the Mackay CBD, paving the way for a raft  of revitalisation projects.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the Mackay Waterfront PDA declaration would enable Mackay Regional Council to pursue its plan to transform the city’s waterfronts and CBD.

“This declaration will be a catalyst to stimulate the Mackay region’s economy, create jobs, increase investor confidence, and deliver more community infrastructure and public facilities,” Mr Dick said.

“Mackay Regional Council is to be congratulated on the way it has approached this important city-shaping project, particularly the way it has engaged with its ratepayers and brought the community along on this journey."

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the PDA declaration was wonderful news for the city.
“I am very happy that the State Government has been so responsive to the council’s calls for this PDA,” Cr Williamson said.

“It spans about 172ha including the southern side of the Pioneer River, the CBD, and water frontage along Binnington Esplanade (Town Beach), and consists of five distinct precincts – Mackay City Centre, Riverside, Enterprise, Queens Park and Beachside.

“Each precinct offers unique attributes and redevelopment opportunities specific to their location and will be redeveloped progressively.”

The community played a significant role in designing the various precincts within the PDA and will have a further opportunity to comment once the proposed development scheme is publicly notified in late-2018.

The PDA takes effect from Friday, May 25.

Declaration paves way for Mackay makeover
Neoen’s planned green power hub at Kaban, 80km south-west of Cairns, has received State development approval.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the $300 million wind farm project would bring substantial investment to the region and was expected to create around 150 jobs during construction.

“The proposed development at Kaban is for a wind farm for up to 29 turbines and additional infrastructure, including a substation and battery storage facility,” Mr Dick said.

“This means jobs for the region over the 12-month estimated construction period and more clean energy for the region to tap into.

“The green power hub, which will incorporate the wind farm, is a $300 million project, planned to operate for at least 30 years and generate enough power to supply 57,000 homes.”

Total generation capacity is expected to be up to 160MW.

Mr Dick said the turbines would have a maximum height of 240m.

“Neoen worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts on nearby houses, impacts on fauna, native vegetation clearing and traffic impacts,” he said.

The Kaban hub is among more than two dozen large-scale renewable energy projects currently committed or under construction throughout Queensland, including the recently announced $200 million Lakeland wind farm.

Green light for $300m FNQ wind farm

Coal will cover Queensland's planned infrastructure spending boost, with record coal royalties of $3.7 billion forecast this financial year, says the Queensland Resources Council.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the latest projection of $3.7 billion - a $536 million increase on the State Government’s pre-Christmas estimate – would allow the government to increase infrastructure spending by $1.4 billion to $11.5 billion in 2018-19, and a total of $45 billion in infrastructure over four years.

"Projects like Convention Centre expansion in Cairns, the North Queensland Stadium in Townsville, the M1 in south-east Queensland will be built and funded by coal,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Mr Macfarlane said the increased projection was due to the strong international demand for metallurgical coal and the stable prices for both metallurgical and thermal coal from Queensland.

“This result would make 2017-18 a record 12 months for coal royalties in Queensland. The previous record was $3.4 billion in 2016-17,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad issued a joint press statement this week promising that the upcoming Budget would deliver $45 billion of infrastructure over the next four years.

“That’s a big number, with investment up $2 billion on last year’s Budget and almost five times what the Federal Government is investing in our state’s infrastructure," Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This massive spend will drive our economy, supporting 38,000 Queensland jobs every year."

In 2018–19 alone, the Queensland Government has undertaken to deliver a $11.5 billion capital program. This would be a $1.4 billion increase on the allocation for 2017-18.

Coal props up Budget infrastructure pledge
The 2018 Resource Industry Network Awards night has been hailed a success, with more than 320 people attending the Mackay event to celebrate the people, innovation and the successes of the resource services sector.

“These awards recognise excellence in business and the significant contribution that those businesses make to the regional economy and community," Resource Industry Network Chair Tony Caruso said.

"Our judges this year had the unenviable task of shortlisting each of the categories to just three finalists and have repeatedly stated what a difficult task this was given the quality of all the nominations.”

Winners on the night included DGH Engineering, taking the Leading from the Front Award.

Diacon Australia was rewarded for its initiative, persistence and success in taking a product to the export market with the  Chasing Foreign Markets Award.

North Queensland Bulk Ports won the Safety Foremost Award after the development of its ‘Balance’ program.
The 2018 RIN Awards also saw the introduction of a new category – Striving for Diversity Award – with local company C2H Piping Services taking the honours by demonstrating commitment and progress to achieving equity in the workplace.

MM Electricals’ Matthew Johnson was recognised in the Standing Out from the Crowd Award for demonstrating great resilience, leadership in challenging times, and championing change to ensure the organisation continued to prosper despite market conditions.

Moranbah Discount Tyres & Mechanical won the Connecting in the Community award, while Vayeron claimed the Out of the Box Award for its wireless technology to monitor conveyor rollers.

IMAGE: Safety Foremost Award Winners North Queensland Bulk Ports’ Dr Rochelle Macdonald (right) and Pat Cunningham (centre) accepting the winner’s trophy from award sponsor Hail Creek Mine’s Kent Ballantyne.

Recognition for resource sector leaders
Smart technologies will monitor the quality of urban stormwater run-off in the Cairns area under a new project to help protect the reef.

Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor Terry James said the city was proud to lead the way in adopting new technologies for environmental benefit, especially since 2018 is the International Year of the Reef.

The Reducing Urban Impact on the Great Barrier Reef project will include installation of up to 30 water-monitoring sensors to deliver real-time data on levels of nutrients, sediments and other contaminants that may be carried out to sea.

This will help plan and improve stormwater infrastructure and water treatment processes to ensure urban water run-off is not harming the reef or marine life.

James Cook University acting vice-chancellor, Professor Chris Cocklin, said researchers from the university’s Internet of Things (IoT) program would bring local knowledge and cutting-edge expertise to the project.

“JCU’s IoT engineers already use smart sensor networks to deliver real-time data from tropical field sites, enabling researchers to monitor marine and natural environments from anywhere in the world,” Professor Cocklin said. “We see great potential for this technology to help make Cairns a truly smart city.”

The Australian Government is committing 50 per cent of the funding for the $1.66 million project, with Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways, Itron Australasia and FNQ NRM  providing the remainder.

All infrastructure for the project will be in place within the next 12 months.

Stormwater monitoring steps up
Bauxite Hills is celebrating its first export cargo, with a shipment of about 62,000 tonnes of bauxite leaving Cape York today.

The Hong Kong-flagged bulk cargo vessel Spring Oasis is headed for Shandong, China to deliver the bauxite to the Xinfa Group, one of China’s largest integrated aluminium companies.

Metro Mining’s Bauxite Hills operation, located 95km north of Weipa, started mining activity in April.

Metro Mining managing director Simon Finnis said the first shipment was an extremely exciting event.

“This has been another job well done and is a credit to the entire Metro team and our contractors.  The marine transportation fleet performed well, in line with expectations,” Mr Finnis said.

The Bauxite Hills mine has an estimated ore reserve of 92.2Mt and a total resource of 144.8Mt, with an estimated 17-year mine life.

Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Bauxite Hills mine was a prime example of the demand for Queensland’s minerals.

“As well as securing a four-year export deal with one of China’s largest aluminium companies, Xinfa, the mine will provide up to 200 jobs,” he said.

“We continue to see that with strong, safe, established trade routes to the northern hemisphere, Queensland is ideally located to meet demand from Asia and other eastern markets.

“We have a world-class ‘minerals for industry’ sector unmatched anywhere in the world, and it’s great to see Metro Mining taking these resources to market.”

Cape York mine ships first bauxite