In-river construction is underway for the $367.2 million Rookwood Weir project, building on a number of enabling works such as the completion of the workers’ accommodation camp.
Rookwood Weir is being built on the Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton. Once complete, the more than 16-metre-high weir will enable a transition to higher-value agricultural land use and support new industrial business opportunities in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the project is creating employment and economic development opportunities while increasing water security for Central Queensland.
“This is a project that will deliver 200 jobs during construction and expand irrigated agricultural production in the Lower Fitzroy River Region by providing an additional 86,000 megalitres of water,” McCormack said.
“The Rookwood Weir is a great example of the Australian Government delivering the water infrastructure that will become the National Water Grid, our $3.5 billion investment to secure Australia’s water future.”
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Queensland Regional Development, Manufacturing, and Water Minister Glenn Butcher said Rookwood Weir was a transformative project for Central Queensland.
“Water is the lifeblood of our regional communities and industries and the Queensland Government’s vision is for water to be secure, affordable and accessible,” Butcher said.
“More water from Rookwood Weir represents more opportunity for irrigators in the Lower Fitzroy to increase their production, grow their businesses and create more jobs for Queenslanders.”
The 18-metre-high concrete Riverslea Bridge upgrade is nearing completion and will replace the existing crossing with a single 3.5-metre-wide road lane, connecting the approaches to the bridge with the existing road, including passing bays at both ends, and demolishing the existing culvert crossing.
Works on the fourth enabling project, an upgrade to Foleyvale Bridge and its approach roads, are expected to commence on site in early 2022.
Sunwater Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stockton said it was pleasing to see construction activity ramping up at the weir site after many months of preparatory work.
“There are almost 100 workers currently housed in the accommodation camp with more arriving every day,” Stockton said.
“An on-site concrete batch plant will start operation next week with bulk earthworks on the left and right riverbank continuing.
“Sunwater is excited to be delivering this important project which will provide water security for the region, as well as jobs and economic opportunities for businesses and industry.”
The Rookwood Weir project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, which are each contributing $183.6 million, and delivered in partnership with Sunwater. The first water from Rookwood Weir is expected to be available in 2023.