In-river construction has begun for the $367.2 million Rookwood Weir project in Queensland, in a substantial milestone for the project.

The construction follows a number of enabling works, such as the recent completion of the workers’ accommodation camp.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Rookwood Weir 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,” Mr 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.”

Rookwood Weir is being built on the Fitzroy River, 66km south-west of Rockhampton. Once complete, the over-16m-high weir will enable a transition to higher-value agricultural land use and facilitate new industrial business opportunities in the region.

Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, 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,” Mr 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.

“By delivering this project, the Queensland Government is delivering water security and prosperity for the entire Rockhampton region.”

The 18m-high concrete Riverslea Bridge upgrade is approaching finalisation, replacing the existing crossing with a single 3.5m-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.

The Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango and the upgrade and widening of Thirsty Creek Road have already been completed.

Works on the fourth enabling project, an upgrade to Foleyvale Bridge and its approach roads, are expected to commence on site in early 2022.

Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said, “The project will provide at least 140 jobs for workers in Central Queensland and the now complete workers’ camp will provide quarters for crews working ten days on, four days off, to build the weir.

“I welcome the economic opportunities the workers’ camp will provide to many workers – not only those that will help build the weir, but also local housekeeping and maintenance workers.” 

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,” Mr 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 Federal and Queensland governments, which are each contributing $183.6 million, and delivered in partnership with Sunwater. The first water from Rookwood Weir will be available in 2023.

For information about the National Water Grid visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.

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