This Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is home to a world-class METS sector that’s leading the way with production-efficient and cost-reduction solutions across a range of industries including mining, agriculture, biofuels, manufacturing, defence, renewables and more.


The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (MIW) Region extends across 90,000 square kilometres, stretching from Bowen and Abbot Point in the north, to St Lawrence in the south, and west to the Belyando River beyond Moranbah and Clermont. 

The region includes the three local government areas of Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday. Diversity represents the Mackay Region’s core strengths, including:

▶ a well–diversified industry base and economy
▶ an agile and skilled business and employment base
▶ a diverse cultural offering
▶ a diverse natural landscape and attractions

The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region is renowned for its wealth in natural resources, comprehensive infrastructure, sound livability credentials and outstanding beauty and natural attractions. Together this region has evolved to become one of Australia’s strongest regional economies contributing some $24.5 billion annually to the nation’s GDP. 

The region is home to 173,000 residents across three regional council boundary areas. Importantly, one of the key features of the region is accessibility. 

The expanding construction and development industry is underpinned by world class port facilities, road, rail and air infrastructure.

Mackay region’s comprehensive industry base and depth of population services provide a base from which to further diversify and grow the regional economy and to capitalise on strategic regional industry opportunities.



Mackay is a world-class service hub for the resource sector. While no mining is actually undertaken within the Mackay region, Mackay is home to one of the world’s most advanced, skilled and innovative mining service sectors.

Mackay’s strategic role as a key hub/logistics and export/support service centre for the significant resource deposits and projects operating across the Bowen and Galilee basins, has a competitive edge due to excellent rail, road and port connectivity. 

While the investment pipeline in the resources sector has evolved in recent years, the region’s extensive and leading industry business base, knowledge/skills, and specialisation has provided the foundation and lead the way for further growth and diversification across the mining and resource service sector.

There are also many opportunities to apply the skills and experience gained by Mackay LGA as a result of the mining sector, to other sectors and export markets including Papua New Guinea, South America, India, Africa, China, Brazil and Indonesia.


Mackay region has been forged by a well–established innovative and world–class agricultural sector.

The Mackay region has valuable and strategic agricultural and grazing land, key labour specialisations, established supply chains, and well–regarded industry knowledge. 

The region yields production from a broad range of raw and processed agricultural commodities (sugarcane, beef, horticulture, forestry, fibre and aquaculture), often through vertical integration of businesses and operations, but has a core strength and competency in sugarcane production and processing.

These strengths, coupled with increasing local and global demand for agricultural commodities and lower labour costs (due to inter–industry  movements of labour between resources and agricultural sectors), are expected to provide impetus for future growth. 

Through increased efficiencies, innovative products and value–adding approaches (e.g. renewable electricity generation from agricultural by– products), the local agricultural industry is set to provide a continued significant contribution to the Mackay region’s growth in the future.


With significant Defence Department projects, such as the Land 400 contract and the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI), now being rolled out, the Mackay region industry has the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the development and support of military and defence programs.

The Australian Government is committed to maximising opportunities for competitive Australian businesses; building export potential, depth of skills and diversification for defence industry, and cutting red tape to make it simpler and less costly for Australian industry to support defence.

Resource Industry Network is working to highlight the strong synergies between our local engineering and heavy industrial manufacturing sector and the requirements of the Land 400 vehicles. Our local businesses already have the capability to match specialist skills and develop innovative solutions for defence sector requirements and a number of local businesses have already begun supplying services to the defence sector.


The region’s heavy industry capabilities are diverse and applicable to many economic sectors, including mining, agriculture, defence and construction. As new markets emerge or become more accessible, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (MIW) companies will gain confidence to invest in their businesses, to improve and diversify product offering which meets market demand.


The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (MIW) region has a wealth of expertise in management of small and large projects, and is home to some of the world’s leading project management consultancies, as well as being the founding location for emerging and established firms.

The skills and expertise located in MIW has been and will continue to be applied to a vast array of engineering, resource sector and infrastructure projects. 

This expertise is now being sought globally to oversee development of resource sector and infrastructure projects.

The firms located in the region are accustomed to taking on the most challenging of projects which require ‘out–of–the–box’ solutions to problems to ensure projects are delivered safely, on time and within budget.


The engineering and design capabilities of the MIW region are innovative, diverse and are generally fit for purpose, tailored to a variety of project problems requiring a detailed engineering solution to overcome environmental or logistical challenges, high usage and wear.

The services of MIW companies span across all engineering sectors including civil, environmental, electrical, mechanical and structural engineering. Specialisation in areas such as renewable energy engineering, computer numerical control and automation further asserts the skills and capability of sector companies.

These skills and expertise are starting to be exported to emerging markets such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.


Manufacturing in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Region is a diverse and dynamic sector – having demonstrated resilience and rapid response to shifts in the regional economy over time. Key manufacturing industries include mechanical and machinery production for the resources and agricultural sectors, mining equipment, polyurethane products, as well as sugar and ethanol production. Emerging opportunities exist in further development of advanced manufacturing capabilities, tapping into growing domestic and international markets, as well as in biofutures, another emerging sector utilising renewables for development of a range of bioproducts.


Advanced manufacturing incorporates niche market products and a range of activities from design and research and development (R&D), to production, distribution and after–sales services. It focuses not only on products but also on value–adding across the entire value chain and includes:

● collaborative R&D and design–led thinking
● innovative business models and effective supply chain capabilities
● the effective use of disruptive technologies and systems and cutting–edge materials
● a focus on customisation and exports
● world–best practices and processes
● new ways to manufacture existing products and the manufacture of new products
● the provision of high value–added services and innovative solutions


Biofutures is the term used to describe industrial biotechnology utilised in the creation of fuel, chemicals, plastics and other materials from biological materials. The biofutures sector is emerging worldwide as a growing and increasingly valuable and viable industry. The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Region has the potential to become a leading producer of bioproducts and technologies, creating new markets for both technology developers and agricultural producers, in turn providing significant regional development prospects for the state. The Region is home to the QUT Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant at Racecourse Sugar Mill, on the outskirts of Mackay. The facility offers a unique pilot scale research and development infrastructure for the conversion of cellulosic biomass into renewable transport fuels and high–value biocommodities in an integrated biorefinery. 


MIW regional companies have a long history of providing maintenance services to the agribusiness, manufacturing and resources sector.

Regional companies have a diverse range of service offerings, with larger firms providing integrated solutions to clients and providing them with a ‘one–stop–shop’ for their maintenance and repair needs.

Regionally located maintenance services are innovative and creative in their business practices, adapting to the changing needs of industry both technologically and fiscally to continue to delivery high quality products and services, whilst generating cost efficiencies.