CBD building collapses into Pioneer River
A MACKAY CBD property has collapsed with the area cordoned off from the public as it undergoes structural assessment.
A fisherman reported hearing loud noises coming from Seafresh Seafood along the Pioneer River, later found to have been the floor of the rundown building collapsing into the water.
District Duty Officer Tony McDowall said the building at 6 River St was cordoned off from the public as a structural assessment was completed.
"A local fisherman heard loud noises coming from the building," he said.
"It appears part of the floor has collapsed … which has also brought down a number of roof pylons."
Senior Sergeant McDowall said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services had secured the building while structural assessments were done.
The public was urged to stay clear of the building, and there were concerns more of the property could collapse into the river.
"The council has been advised because it is council property down here," he said.
"(The hole is) 15 metres by 15 metres at this stage but that could increase," Sen-Sgt McDowall said.
"It's an old building, we've been hearing a lot of rickety noises inside. We we won't be going back in.
"It had concrete stored (on the floor) … and it's all fallen into the river.
"At this stage the roof is still intact but we don't know what will happen next."
Sen-Sgt McDowall said the public should stay away from the premises.
"Just stay out of the building and probably don't motor up too close if you're in the river.
"Give it a wide berth."
Mackay Regional Council purchased the property at 6 River St in 2019 with the site earmarked for the ambitious waterfront development.
The property, known as Mackay's birthplace, is slated for demolition to make way for the city's waterfront redevelopment.
The council revealed plans last month to tear down the building and turn the space into a new flexible community centre.
The removal of the shed, which was built in the late 1800s, would unlock the riverside views for the first time in a century.
Mayor Greg Williamson said timber from the building would be salvaged and transformed into a gazebo built on the road reserve.
The wood pylons would also remain in the water as a testament to Mackay's history.
READ MORE: MACKAY WATERFRONT PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AREA
Cr Williamson said he hoped 'The Sticks', as he imagined the remaining pylons would be nicknamed, would become an icon for the Mackay community.
Mackay City and Waterfront project manager Kylie Rogers said a character plan had been made for the gazebo.
She said a flexible open design would allow pop-up events, food trucks and markets while also telling the story of the old Seafresh building.
Ms Rogers said the cleared area could still be developed at a later stage as part of the waterfront vision, but developers would have to prove new projects were commercially viable to avoid the riverfront from stagnating again.