Countdown on to revamp Mackay’s city centre

Mackay Regional Council CBD revitalisation project manager Jim Carless has given the Daily Mercury a look at plans to refurbish Victoria and Wood Sts.

With the design stage almost completed, the council is now seeking expressions of interest for a head contractor to undertake the $18 million project.

“The major change will be everything that you see – apart from some of the existing vegetation – will be new, updated and a lot more functional,” Mr Carless said.

While residents and business owners have been calling for the refurbishment for some time, the council is preparing for some backlash, with disruptions to traffic and building access expected to cause a stir.

“We’re consulting extensively with traders in the CBD,” Mr Carless said.

“Some people are probably doing it tough already and we don’t want our work to make that any worse.”

In the end, what residents should expect to see is a more vibrant and inviting city centre with lots of outdoor dining.

Mr Carless said they wanted to make the CBD a more inviting place for people to spend their evenings and weekends.

“You don’t want to see the place shut down at 5pm,” he said.

“The plans now make provision for additional places where traders can utilise that space and actually have outdoor dining.”

But this is only stage one. Eventually the council would like to do similar works in the rest of the CBD, right up to Caneland Central.

“This is just two blocks of two streets, we want this everywhere,” Mr Carless said.

Tourism and Economic Development portfolio Councillor Greg Martin said the City Heart would be the “centrepiece of our city”.

“Anticipated to return more than $110 million in economic benefit to the region, the revamped precinct will be pedestrian and bicycle friendly, promote economic sustainability and enhance city living,” Cr Martin said.

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