Rookwood Weir is set to stand higher than originally anticipated, with the Queensland and Federal Governments each committing another $7.5 million for the project to unlock an additional 10,000ML of water for central Queensland.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said Sunwater and its construction partners have identified an opportunity in the design phase to raise the crest height of Rookwood Weir by 700mm, increasing the yield to 86,000ML for water users.
“This opportunity represents good value for money and will provide improved water security for the region and future customers, while boosting the local economy and creating more jobs in the central Queensland region,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Both governments have already committed $176 million and I welcome the Federal Government’s further joint contribution to this important project.
“Working together we have been able to deliver a great outcome for the area.
“With the construction phase now underway, the success of the first round of water sales tenders saw a strong market response, which bodes well for future growth in the local agricultural industry.
“I’m advised Sunwater has also had a strong response to the expression of interests for a further round of tenders to be undertaken in 2022, so raising Rookwood Weir now makes good sense.
“Water is critical for economic growth and this is especially important as we continue to recover from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Projects like Rookwood Weir will attract jobs to our regions and we will see more growth and more investment as a consequence.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said investing in Rookwood Weir shows the Federal Government’s commitment to developing regional communities.
“As well as providing a critical economic boost as we recover from the global pandemic, the project will increase water security and expand irrigated agricultural production in the Lower Fitzroy River region,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is a great example of our government building the water infrastructure of the 21st century through a ten-year rolling program of priority investments, including expanding our National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to $3.5 billion in the 2020–21 Federal Budget.
“This is all about increasing water security to build greater resilience in our regions as we create more jobs and see continued growth in our agriculture sector, while supporting and investing in regional communities through drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19.”
Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said the decision would also have more immediate flow-on effects for job creation in the region.
“Raising Rookwood Weir means that the Foleyvale Bridge and its approach roads will also be upgraded to accommodate the greater level of inundation,” Mr Butcher said.
“This upgrade will add another 15 full-time jobs on top of the 100 jobs already created for essential road and bridge upgrades, and the 200 jobs which will be created to build the weir itself.
“At least 140 of those jobs will be sourced locally – a big win for the regional economy.”
Construction of Rookwood Weir is on track for completion in 2023.
The Rookwood Weir project is jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments, and delivered in partnership with Sunwater.
For more information on the Rookwood Weir project, click here.