Queensland’s Coordinator-General has declared the $60 million Big Rocks Weir project a coordinated project, which will now undergo a full environmental impact assessment process.
The project aims to boost water supply in the Charters Towers region and will involve the construction of a 10,000 megalitre weir
Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Steven Miles said the Queensland Government supports progressing investigations into the project’s construction.
“Big Rocks Weir would augment urban water supply, support local agriculture, create jobs and improve water security for the Charters Towers region,” Miles said.
“Charters Towers Regional Council estimates the project would have a capital cost of about $60 million and create 172 full-time equivalent jobs during construction.
“The decision to declare Big Rocks Weir a coordinated project means the Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement (EIS).”
The draft terms of reference will be released for public comment to allow the community input on what the EIS must address.
The community will also be invited to make submissions on the draft EIS that will be prepared after the terms of reference have been finalised.
Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the Queensland Government had committed $3 million for Charters Towers Regional Council to conduct environmental and other regulatory approvals, geotechnical assessments, detailed weir design, and water product and pricing definition.
“The proposed Big Rocks Weir project could improve water supply in Charters Towers, boost North Queensland’s economy and create jobs for the North of our state,” Butcher said.
Butcher said Big Rocks Weir is one of three water infrastructure projects in the broader Burdekin Catchment declared as coordinated projects and currently undergoing assessment.
“Others are the proposed raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam wall, declared a coordinated project in July 2020, and the proposed Urannah Project, declared in May 2020, which includes a dam, hydro-electricity scheme and water pipeline network 80 kilometres west of Mackay,” he said.
“Jobs and water security will help to secure our state’s future.”