CQUniversity's presence in Mackay has grown considerably since the first intake of students in 1987 and establishment of the CQUniversity Mackay, Ooralea campus in 1992.
CQUniversity has recently become a more comprehensive university, after merging with CQ TAFE on 1 July 2014. As a result, CQUniversity now offers over 300 courses and programs from certificates to masters that provide a wider choice of study options.
Today, CQUniversity Mackay boasts a City campus and an Ooralea campus, including a $46 million Trades Training Centre. Many helpful facilities are available including: lecture theatres and performance theatres, trades training workshops, computer and nursing laboratories, a training restaurant, hairdressing and beauty salons, recording studios, student accommodation, video-conference rooms, a bookshop, a refectory, a library, and much more.
Mackay is a city of more than 90,000 people situated on the central Queensland coast, approximately 1,000 kilometres north of the State's capital, Brisbane. The region enjoys a subtropical climate with easy access to unspoilt beaches, scenic rainforests and the Whitsunday Islands. The natural beauty of the area has been a lure for travellers ever since the first settlement in 1862.
Subtropical weather patterns dominate most of the Mackay region, with heavy rainfalls experienced in summer and typically dry weather during winter. January is Mackay's hottest month, with an average maximum of 29.9 degrees Celsius. Mackay's coldest month is July, when the maximum temperature averages 21.1 degrees and the minimum averages 12.7 degrees.
Mackay's population growth rate is one of the highest in Australia. The preliminary estimated resident population of Mackay City at 30 June 2006 was 90,303 people, an increase of 3,675 people or 4.2 per cent over the year. Projections prepared by the Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning indicate that by 2011 the expected population of Mackay City will be between 91,400 and 93,700 people.
Mackay's sporting prowess has given the city a national reputation. Well-equipped sporting facilities have nurtured the talents of Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists such as Cathy Freeman. Many sporting clubs in the region feature multi-million dollar complexes.
Mackay is renowned for its stable economy, due largely to the diversity of local industries - coal, sugar and tourism. Coal mining is the largest contributor to the region's economy. In 2003-04 coal exports from the Mackay regions were valued at $4.5 billion per annum.
In 2005 the region's economy grew by 23 per cent - nearly 3 times the rate of the rest of Queensland - to $8.9 billion. It is predicted to increase by at least 30 per cent in the next four years to $12.6 billion annually.
Mackay has a wealth of entertainment options. Island resorts, fine restaurants, lively clubs, theatres, cinemas, art galleries, parks, an aquatic centre and many other attractions are all part of the atmosphere that makes Mackay unique.
Shopping areas abound in Mackay. Good starting points for new residents include the City Heart, Caneland Central and Mount Pleasant Greenfields Shopping Centre. The City Heart, with its bustling shopping park, permits limited motor traffic while preserving a pedestrian mall atmosphere. Caneland Central is home to major supermarkets, department stores, and more than 110 specialty shops. Mount Pleasant Greenfields Shopping Centre caters to the growing population on the north side of the Pioneer River
Airlines, coach companies and Queensland Rail provide daily services to and from Mackay. Mackay Airport handled 656 000 passengers in 2005-06, up by 14 per cent on the previous 12 months.
Most suburbs within the city limits are serviced by some form of public transport. Mackay Transit Coaches operate Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Mackay Taxis provide a Taxi Transit service that allows people to share transport from their homes to popular destinations for the price of a normal bus fare.