Mackay Regional Council

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The Mackay region first hosted the Queensland Mining & Engineering Expo (QME) a quarter of a century ago in 1993.

My great fortune was to be Mayor of the then Mackay City Council at the time, and the excitement in the city over securing this prestigious event was very evident.

Mackay is the heartbeat of the Queensland mining industry which is why QME has been so important to the region for more than 25 years and it was tremendous to welcome it back to our region last month.

We were proud to be a partner in the Greater Whitsunday METS Innovation Lounge. 

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The METS Innovation Lounge was made possible through the collaboration between Mackay Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council, Whitsunday Regional Council, Queensland Government, Resources Centre of Excellence, Greater Whitsunday Alliance, and the Resource Industry Network (RIN). 

Eight innovative businesses including East West Lighting, One Industries, 2Censor, Mackay Conveyor Equipment, Linked Group Services, SMW Group Mackay and Steel Central – showcased their latest innovations via a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) experience. This VR immersive experience was a very popular attraction.

This year we were also excited to present the Resources Centre of Excellence (RCOE) to the global mining community.

The centre, delivered by council in partnership with RIN and the Queensland Government, features an Underground Mining Simulator along with training and research facilities available for commercial use.

The facility is driving technological advancements, process optimisation, research, product innovation and collaboration for the resources sector.

The RCOE is already looking to expand into new and emerging industries such as critical minerals, robotics and circular economy opportunities, cementing Mackay as the premier hub for STEM.

This project is a tremendous example of visionary collaboration to deliver a diversified economic future while complimenting a transformative resources sector.

QME22 had over 300 exhibitors and about 4500 visitors which has resulted in an estimated $5 million in economic output for the region.

Last financial year, the Queensland Resources Sector accounted for $1.6 billion in wages paid to 17,349 jobs in the Mackay Isaac and Whitsunday region.

The sector spent $7 billion with 1,964 local businesses and 405 charities and sports clubs.

The total economic contribution of the resources industry to the Mackay region economy in 2020-21 was $18 billion gross regional product – 73 per cent of the region’s total GRP.

That local prosperity generated equates to 82,492 local jobs supported by Queensland’s resource sector – 87 per cent of the region’s total employment.

Mining operations are the backbone of many regional Queensland towns, providing employment, opportunity and a sense of community, but in fact, every Queenslander benefits immensely from successful mining operations.

Jobs of course are the main benefit, but resource royalties help pay for Queensland services like hospitals, ambulances, schools and police.

Our thanks to the QME team for continuing to showcase a sector that makes a huge contribution to the Australian economy. 

QME has never failed to bring big ideas, the latest technological innovations, and a real buzz to our community.

We cannot wait for QME 2024.

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Mayor Greg Williamson

Mackay Regional Council

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