Call out for Rookwood Weir construction

Published Wednesday, 25 September, 2019 at 07:00 AM

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

The multi-million-dollar contract to build the $352 million Rookwood Weir will be open to Expressions of Interest on October 2.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the contract would provide a major boost to central Queensland from the jobs and economic benefits that would flow from the construction.

“Rookwood Weir is set to deliver hundreds of jobs during and after construction and will expand irrigated agricultural production in the Lower Fitzroy,’’ Mr O’Rourke said.

“The project reflects the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to jobs and infrastructure in the regions.’’

Mrs Lauga said Rookwood Weir would enable transition to higher value agricultural land use, facilitate new industrial business opportunities and bolster water security.

“Applications are open until 29 October and I am sure there will be considerable interest from companies in this project,’’ she said.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the local State MPs had been tireless in working for the project.

“This is in direct contrast to the local Federal Member who continues to whinge on a regular basis to anyone who will listen.

“If she was so committed to the project, why can’t she convince her Canberra colleagues to actually stump up the money they have promised. The only reason Rookwood is progressing is because the Palaszczuk Government has provided cold, hard cash to Sunwater to allow work to start.

“Has the Commonwealth gone cold on the project? They’re talking a big game but there has been no evidence of any money.

“The Member for Capricornia should spend less time self-promoting and put more effort into promoting a project that will provide water security and reliability for the region.’’   

The EOI will go live on the QTenders website next week, which contains all relevant information and assessment criteria. An industry briefing will be held on Monday, 30 September.

Local businesses in Central Queensland including machinery operators, labourers, plumbing and electrical contractors, catering and office suppliers, are already registering their interest in providing goods and services to the project after a dedicated web-registry was launched earlier this month.

Eighty-one businesses already have lodged submission to supply goods or services to the project. The dedicated portal was launched in early September.

“We are totally committed to the construction of the weir,’’ Dr Lynham said.

“The Palaszczuk Government already has contributed its $176 million share to enable the project to proceed.

“The Commonwealth has refused to contribute any further funds to cover increasing costs, forcing a redesign. As part of that redesign the weir will be built without gates to ensure the project can be delivered on time and within the $352 million project budget.’’

Rookwood Weir will make available an additional source of water for the Rockhampton and Gladstone communities, and provide opportunities for increased agricultural and industrial development in the region.

The  weir will provide 34,000 megalitres of urban and industrial water for customers in Gladstone and the Capricorn Coast, with the remainder dedicated to agricultural customers.

The remaining water will be a mixture of medium and high priority water allocations, with the final mix to be determined by hydrological modelling.

Sunwater is continuing to deliver the project, including progressing detailed design, securing necessary approvals and purchasing land holdings.

A tender process for construction of the weir will take place early in 2020 with the contract awarded mid-2020.

The first on-the-ground works will involve the widening and upgrade of a 16.2-kilometre section of Thirsty Creek Road by the Rockhampton Regional Council with site preparations due to start next month.

The upgrade will ensure the local road network can safely accommodate heavy earthmoving vehicles for the weir’s construction.

Other ancillary works will be staged as needed and will include the:

  •          Capricorn Highway upgrade at Gogango;
  •          upgrade of Hanrahan’s Crossing and
  •          construction of a new Riverslea Bridge and approaches to accommodate the higher river level.

While the redesign of the ungated weir is underway, work not specifically pertaining to the weir structure, is able to take place, such as road, highway upgrades and bridge construction.

The project will take four years.

Rookwood Weir will be located in the lower Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton and will include infrastructure to allow safe passage for fish and turtles.

The project will upgrade Thirsty Creek Road and the Gogango intersection to ensure the local road network can safely manage construction traffic.


Media enquiries: David Potter 0428 411 617