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Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex a 'huge win' for local athletes and beyond

Published:14 March 2019

VC Professor Nick Klomp, Deputy PM Michael McCormack and Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson at the official opening ceremony of the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

It’s been six years and $23.9 million in the making but, as of Saturday 9 March, the Mackay ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Complex) at CQUniversity Mackay’s Ooralea campus is now open to the public.

Guests of honour at the official celebration included Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson; Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Nick Klomp, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, Campuses and Mackay-Whitsunday Region, Pierre Viljoen.

The multi-million-dollar complex features a synthetic athletics track and three FINA-approved heated pools.

Deputy Prime Minister Mr McCormack said the Federal Government was proud to be able to help deliver an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Class 2 athletics facility that was a first for the Mackay region.

“The athletics facility features a synthetic running track, long jump pits, a water jump, discus, hammer and shot-put circles, high jump fans and javelin runways; not to mention the multi-use playing fields and fully-equipped clubhouse and canteen,” Mr McCormack said.

The aquatic centre provides a temperature-controlled, Olympic-standard, 10-lane, 50m competition pool, in addition to 25m and 15m pools which are heated and covered, with accessibility ramps.

Courtesy of the Embracing 2018 Legacy Program, the ARC now also boasts thousands of dollars’ worth of 2018 Commonwealth Games' equipment.

“All up we received 200 items of premium-quality equipment for the ARC; all equipment will be stored on site and will be available to any groups who wish to use them for events,” CQUni’s Professor Pierre Viljoen said.

“The construction of this facility is a monumental project for our region, and one that puts Mackay on the map in terms of state and national event attraction and tourism – it’s a huge win for local athletes and beyond,” Professor Viljoen emphasised.

“It’s both gratifying and humbling to see this collective long-term vision turn into reality; this project personifies CQUniversity’s mission to engage and partner with communities and like-minded organisations like Mackay Regional Council to find socially innovative solutions that support the development of sustainable communities.”

Attracting thousands of guests, the grand opening will be the first of many big events to be held at this complex. In September, the ARC will host its first major event – the Oceania Masters Athletics Championships.

For more information on the Mackay ARC, head to mackay.qld.gov.au/marc .

* The Mackay ARC project was jointly funded, with the Federal Government investing $9.9 million and Mackay Regional Council investing $13.8 million. The 12-hectare site was contributed by CQUniversity via a long-term lease agreement.