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The contract for the build of Queensland’s $352 million Rookwood Weir has been awarded, with the project set to be a key component of Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery.

The contract was awarded to Central Queensland’s McCosker Contracting and Lendlease Engineering.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said delivery of the project would create at least 140 local jobs.

“Queensland has a plan for economic recovery, which we can roll out because we have managed our health response,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“That plan includes a $50 billion infrastructure guarantee and Rookwood Weir is part of that guarantee.”

Queensland Natural Resources Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the selection of McCosker and Lendlease was significant because of the local benefits.

“Central Queensland (CQ) faces tough times ahead, as do regional economies around the world because of COVID-19,” Dr Lynham said.

“This is a CQ business with 25 years of CQ history, involved in a project that will change the region.”

Queensland Assistant Education Minister and Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said the project would inject at least $120 million into the CQ economy.

“Projects like Rookwood Weir are once-in-a-generation pieces of infrastructure,” Ms Lauga said.

“McCosker and Lendlease have committed to sourcing at least 140 employees in CQ – that’s at least 70 per cent of their project team.

“That’s 140 people who will be able to look back proudly in decades to come and say they were part of this project.”

Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said the four partners – McCosker, Lendlease, GHD and Sunwater – would work closely over the next two months to progress the project.

“They will be seeking quotes from suppliers to build the workers’ camp and for quarry materials, plant and equipment hire and fencing,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“From September, suppliers and contractors will be signed up, with preliminary works starting in November.

“That’s Rookwood Weir creating jobs in the short term, as well as opportunity well into the future as Queensland recovers.

“That’s good news for local businesses.”

McCosker Contracting Managing Director, Bob McCosker, said one of the first priorities was to work with other project members to connect with local industry, suppliers and workers.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for local businesses to play a critical role on a project that will significantly enhance water security in the region,” Mr McCosker said.

“To date, 247 businesses have registered to provide services to the project, and the Rookwood team will be holding industry briefings to discuss what is available for suppliers.”

Lendlease Engineering Director of Delivery, Glenn McIlroy, said it was great to be part of a generation-defining project for the Rockhampton and Gladstone communities.

“We know how important water is to productivity and growth, so we are delighted to play a role in making available an additional source of water for agricultural and industrial development,” Mr McIlroy said.

Meanwhile, a proposal for how the weir’s water could be allocated will be released for consultation this month.

Dr Lynham said the proposal would include high-priority urban water for Gladstone and medium-priority water for farmers. 

Sunwater is also assessing farmers’ bids for the first tranche of medium-priority water from the weir for agricultural and non-urban use.

Bids for a second tranche of smaller lots will remain open until the end of 2020.

Work has also started on the new Riverslea Bridge, with two other road projects associated with the weir – the $2.2 million Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango and the $7.5 million upgrade at Thirsty Creek Road – completed in July 2020.

To read Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, click here.

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