Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Qantas Bid Hits the Mark; Campaign to Lure Academy to Mackay

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Qantas Bid Hits the Mark; Campaign to Lure Academy to Mackay

Article excerpt

Byline: Melanie Plane

PROPOSED city heart residential high-rise developments and refurbished and new Mackay Airport facilities have all formed the greater Mackay region's bid to lure the $20 million Qantas Group Pilot Training Academy to the region.

With an estimated local economic benefit of $32 million in its first year, the academy has attracted fierce competition from cities across regional Australia, including our closest rivals Townsville and Rockhampton, but so far Mackay is ticking all the right boxes.

The Queensland Government last week lodged Mackay's formal bid to be the preferred city to host the academy which met all of Qantas' long list of requirements.

Qantas' demands range from technical airport requirements, specific accommodation needs, administration, education and health facilities, appropriate weather and even lifestyle factors.

While meeting all of the demands, a range of potential 'extras' were also included in Mackay's bid, such as potential upgrades to existing airport infrastructure and even new inner-city living options.

The bid outlined the potential to re-purpose and refurbish the 'old' Mackay Airport terminal for training and administration facilities and even establish new accommodation at the airport with a gymnasium, a catered dining room and recreation areas for students.

Along with existing facilities at CQUniversity, approved plans for four new residential developments across the city were also noted in the bid as potential options for student accommodation. These included a 170-unit development at Ooralea, a 59-unit complex with commercial and health care services on Bridge Rd, an 108-unit high-rise with retail spaces on Victoria St and a 68-unit project on Sydney St.

Greater Whitsunday Alliance CEO Garry Scanlan said Mackay produced a strong, collaborative bid supported by both Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert and Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen. …

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