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Potential projects which could make waves in Mackay

By Tammy Laval

IT HAS to stack up, but it’s becoming increasingly likely Mackay residents could one day hang 10 in their very own surfing wave pool.

Mackay Regional Council is examining whether there is a solid case to build such a pool in the Mackay region, perhaps at a suitable location along Binnington Esplanade.

It comes as a prototype wave pool by company Surf Lakes – pushing out swells of about 2.4 metres through a ‘plunger’ style system – nears completion between Rockhampton and Yeppoon. The wave pool is a demonstration model and will not be open to the public – at this stage, at least.

Surf Lakes has told The Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton it would privately test its pool, alongside a professional film crew recording results.

Councillor Ross Gee, of Mackay Regional Council, has been a vocal long-time proponent for a wave pool in Mackay, believing the benefits to the city and surrounds through tourism and a trickle-down effect would be astronomical.

However, Cr Gee – himself a keen “cyclone surfer” – emphasised any wave pool, commercially built and operated but backed by the council, has to stack up on an economic basis.

That’s currently being examined by the council, and the Yeppoon prototype should provide some clarity on the nitty-gritty of building, running and financing a wave pool.

One thing’s for sure: A wave pool in Mackay would be cause for celebration for the region’s swell-starved surfers, many of whom attempt to eke out a little ride once in a while, or paddle out into the fray when cyclones batter the shores.

The council has allocated $50,000 from the 2018-19 Budget for “high-level land analysis options and high-level scope and costings analysis to determine viability of large scale offerings”.

Meanwhile, the council will fund business cases for eight other projects, so they can be “shovel-ready” once (and if) funding is handed down at a state and federal level.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the council’s new 2018-19 Budget included just under $1 million to progress work and help the projects become shovel-ready. He said there was a range of planning and design work still to be done.

“The funding provided will help ensure the projects are investigated initially and then, if deemed ready for possible delivery, made shovel-ready to take advantage of any funding opportunities … when they become available in the future.”

  • Projects on the drawing board include:
  • A Mirani Heritage Precinct
  • A business plan and master plan for Sarina Sugar Shed
  • A Northern Beaches community hub
  • A new Mackay Animal Management Facility
  • A business case for the revitalisation of the Sarina central business district
  • A new driver education facility
  • A potential Mountain Biking facility at Eungella
  • A spruce up for Sarina’s Brewers Park

from the Daily Mercury

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