Police negotiating with gunman in Mackay

Jamie McKinnell

Part of the central Queensland city of Mackay is in lockdown as police negotiate with a gunman who's fired a number of shots into the air.

An emergency situation was declared about 5.30pm on Wednesday after officers were called to Gregory Street, where there were reports of a gunman near a licensed premises.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith confirmed witness reports the man had fired shots.

"We believe that was his attempt to draw attention to himself," he told reporters in Mackay on Wednesday evening.

The man, who was armed with at least two long-arm rifles, was being spoken to by negotiators on Gregory Street and hadn't made threats against any other person, Det Insp Smith said.

"At this point, there's nothing to suggest any members of the community are at risk and it's an isolated incident with a male person."

An exclusion zone includes the area encompassing the intersection of River and MacCallister Streets to the intersection of River and Wood Streets, and from Wood and Gordon Streets, to Gordon and MacCallister Streets.

Members of the public were urged to avoid the CBD and anyone inside the declared zone was told to be patient and not go outside until a police officer arrived to escort them.

Det Insp Smith said police were speaking with the man's family to establish his motives.

"We're confident we can resolve the matter peacefully," he added.