Rookwood Weir construction

Bidding has now opened for water licences in Central Queensland, with online tenders for water from the $367.2 million Rookwood Weir project now available to local farmers and residents.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said the second tranche of water licences were now available from the weir, which is currently under construction west of Rockhampton.

“The Federal Government is committed to improving water supply and certainty for all Australians. It’s great to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government and Sunwater on this project,” Ms Plibersek said.

“We’re investing over $2 billion in water infrastructure projects for communities and industry across the country.

“The Rookwood Weir project will ensure a secure future for water in Central Queensland, supporting farmers and agriculture, and also town water supplies.

“Landholders located along the Lower Fitzroy River system can take part in this water tender, which provides a great opportunity for them to sustainably diversify and expand their farming activities.”

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said 50 per cent of water from the weir would be allocated to agricultural use.

“This is a game-changer for the region, and I encourage local growers to put their hand up for the new water to help expand and improve their businesses, or transition to high-value crops,” Mr Butcher said.

“The flow-on benefits for the broader community will be enormous, as a boost to the agricultural sector will result in more good jobs and better services.

“Building the weir is delivering good, secure jobs and economic benefits for Central Queensland right now – while the water it captures will provide more of the same for future generations.”

The second tender makes available 7500ML of medium priority water in lots from 10ML up to 500ML for agricultural and non-urban use.

It closes at 2pm on 3 February 2023, with bids to be submitted via the Queensland Government’s QTenders website.

The second tender follows the successful completion of the first stage of the process in December 2020, which provided an allocation of 30,000ML.

Minister for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said the water will benefit landholders planning commercial cropping, such as grains, as well as tree crops, such as dragon fruits and macadamias. It will also support livestock production.

“We expect strong local interest in the tender with more than 70 landholders registering an expression of interest in securing a water allocation,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Additionally, more than 40 landholders took part in a Sunwater-funded program that was facilitated by Advance Rockhampton and provided advice on how to capitalise on business opportunities through water from the weir.”

Feature Image: The $367.2 million Rookwood Weir Project is currently under construction. Photo: Sunwater.

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