Queensland’s largest water infrastructure project has hit a milestone, with the first concrete pours for the project’s foundations now complete.
The $367 million project will increase water security, support agricultural, industrial, and urban growth, and drive new employment and economic opportunities across Central Queensland.
Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the project is already delivering benefits across the region.
“We currently have 196 workers onsite to deliver the weir, 128 of which are Central Queenslanders, with 14 apprentices and trainees,” Butcher said. “Additionally, 95 per cent of project costs will be spent in Queensland.”
The project will also see improvements to existing infrastructure to support its operation. This will include the installation of a new intersection on the Capricorn Highway, widening 16 kilometres of Thirsty Creek and the construction of a new bridge at Riverslea to replace the existing crossing.
The Queensland Government will be working closely with Sunwater, who will be consulted to ensure that water planning supports the water products which Sunwater will be bringing into the local market.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Rookwood Weir project would enable the region to grow and prosper into the future.
“The approximately 86,000 megalitres of water Rookwood Weir will make available will underpin agricultural growth and deliver secure, reliable and affordable water across Central Queensland, setting up local industry to succeed,” Landry said.
A $1.2 million dedicated program has also been launched by the Queensland Government, to support Central Queensland farmers to bid for water from the Rockwood Weir. The support scheme will be open to interested parties for the second tender for water, which will be held in 2022.
A minimum of 7,500 megalitres will be released in the second stage of the tender, with bidders able to apply for lots of up to 500 megalitres. This follows the successful sale of 30,000 megalitres in December 2020.
Rookwood Weir is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, delivered in partnership with Sunwater.
The first water from Rookwood Weir will be available in 2023, following the full commissioning of the infrastructure.