The Queensland Government has announced that construction on the Rockwood Weir has reached more than 95 per cent completion – of the 130,000m³ of concrete required for the project, 123,000m³ are already in place. 

At its peak more than 360 workers were on site, and the project remains on track for construction to be finished in late 2023, weather permitting.

Apprentices from the Rookwood Weir project have also applied newly acquired skills to benefit Central Queensland families in need.

More than 30 apprentices and trainees have worked on the Rookwood Weir project, with six of them helping to build two cubby houses that have been donated to community‑based organisation, Roseberry Qld, which provides services for young people and families.

The initiative was an opportunity for the apprentices to learn different building techniques and develop carpentry skills such as flooring, stairs, wall and roof framing, cladding, lining, door and window installation and painting.

The 3m by 2.2m structures, made with weatherboard cladding and a corrugated plastic roof, were presented to Roseberry Qld, which is based in Rockhampton and Gladstone.

One of the cubby houses will be delivered to Roseberry Qld’s Gladstone office, with the second going to a property located in the region to provide a play environment for young children.

The Rookwood Weir Alliance collaborated on the initiative with Construction Skills Training Centre, while cubby house materials were supplied by the project and local businesses, Konnect Fastening Systems and CQ Fasteners.

Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton, said that Sunwater and its alliance partners thanked the Central Queensland community for welcoming and working with its project team as it delivered this key water infrastructure asset.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide support to Roseberry, who do such a great job helping the vulnerable in Central Queensland,” Mr Stockton said. 

“The project continues to make great progress on site, having completed construction activities on the left bank cut-off wall and eight of the weir’s 13 monoliths.

“Our focus now is on completing the remaining six monoliths, erosion protection slabs on the left bank and stilling basins.”

Rookwood Weir project fourth-year apprentice, Jack Warrington, said that he has been with the Rookwood Weir project since mid-2021, and that he has had a fantastic time learning the trade and working on such a landmark water project for Central Queensland.

“The skills I have been able to learn on the project include form-setting, steel fixing and concreting whereas, working on the cubby houses has broadened my carpentry skills through making timber walls, doors and window frames along with learning roofing techniques,” Mr Warrington said. 

“It’s been an enjoyable task, building the cubby houses with the other apprentices and knowing they will be put to good use in the community.

“I’ve almost finished my apprenticeship and I’m looking forward to working on the next project as a fully qualified carpenter.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said that the Federal Government is committed to delivering secure and reliable water to Central Queensland. 

“Rookwood Weir is vital to achieving that, and it’s already benefiting the local community and local jobs,” Ms Plibersek said.

“It’s fantastic to see the project giving back to the community and young workers using new skills in this way. It’s an invaluable experience for those involved and will make such a difference to the lives of some of the youngest people in the community who are doing it tough.”

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that Rookwood Weir is a great asset that has created hundreds of jobs since construction began and will deliver economic benefits to Central Queensland for generations through the available water supply.

“The project is also providing unique opportunities for our younger workers to gain invaluable skills and experience that come with an infrastructure development of this size,” Mr Butcher. 

“It is important that big works programs give back to the local communities that support them – and it is the people of Central Queensland that have ensured this weir will be built safely and effectively.”

Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said that he is proud to see Central Queenslanders playing a key role in building an essential infrastructure asset that will benefit the community for decades to come.

“Our apprentices are being given a great opportunity to develop new skills they can use for the rest of their careers, while enhancing the capabilities of our great regional workforce,” Mr O’Rourke said. 

“It is great to see the Rookwood Weir project delivering social benefits for the Central Queensland community and contributing beyond just the construction of the asset.”

Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams, said that Rookwood Weir is a critical project for the region and one that has delivered important benefits in local jobs, skills and training and economic opportunity.

“This is a real and tangible example of how these projects can give back to the community and make a difference to local families and groups.”

Roseberry General Manager, Michelle Coats, said that Roseberry aims to help vulnerable people to lift themselves out of disadvantage and to create safe, vital, and resilient lives for their families.

“We would like to thank the Rookwood Weir apprentices for their hard work building these wonderful cubby houses, which will put a smile on the faces of many young people,” Ms Coats said. 

“We place great value on working together with our fellow Central Queenslanders to provide positive social and economic benefits for families in our region that are experiencing tough times.”

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