CQ farmers can soon stake claims for Rookwood Weir’s water
AFTER years dreaming about the irrigation potential of Rookwood Weir, CQ farmers will finally be able bid for its water from next month.
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said tenders would open for water allocations of 500 megalitres and more on June 23, with contracts to be in place in September.
"This is the first significant development in water infrastructure and supply in CQ in more than a decade," Dr Lynham said.
"Rookwood Weir will underpin production and industrial expansion in the Fitzroy for years to come - all of which means local jobs for the CQ community."
Sunwater yesterday released an information memorandum setting out the two-stage sales process, with a second tender for smaller lots in 2022.
Local members Barry O'Rourke and Brittany Lauga welcomed the latest milestone on the $352 million project which will create 100 jobs during construction.
"The start of the water sales process makes this project very tangible for the people of Central Queensland," Rockhampton MP Mr O'Rourke said.
"It brings those construction jobs and supplier contracts even closer for the people and businesses of Rocky."
Keppel MP Ms Lauga said a reliable supply of irrigation water would allow the region's farmers to transition to higher value agriculture.
"Access to water will boost business investment and give farmers the opportunity to move to intensive irrigated crop production," she said.
"That's higher returns for them and the opportunity to expand and create more jobs."
The first tender makes available up to 30,000 megalitres of medium priority water for agricultural and non-urban use. The second tender will make at least 7500 megalitres of smaller medium priority allocations available.
Construction is scheduled to start by April 2021, and expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2023, for wet commissioning in January 2024.
Preparing for the weir, the $2.2 million Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango and the $7.5 million upgrade at Thirsty Creek Road are due to be finished next month.
A contract for the new Riverslea Bridge is to be awarded and Sunwater is on track to enter the alliance for the main weir package by September.
Consultation continues with local farmers, urban water authorities and industry on options for how the water in the weir could be allocated.
All options in the Statement of Proposals include high priority water for Gladstone and medium priority water for farmers.
Feedback on Statement of Proposals is open until June 12.
For tender information visit www.sunwater.com.au/projects/rookwood-weir-project/
ROOKWOOD WEIR EARLY STAGES
• Thirsty Creek Road upgrade
Widening a 16.2km section of Thirsty Creek Rd for future construction traffic.
• Gogango Intersection upgrade
Will ensure construction traffic can safely cross the Capricorn Highway travelling to the site.
• Riverslea Bridge upgrade
Replacing the existing crossing which will be inundated.
• Hanrahan Crossing upgrade Design development and finalisation process currently underway.