Rookwood Weir Landholder Support Program
Published Friday, 10 September, 2021 at 12:30 PM
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher
A dedicated $1.2 million program has been launched by the Palaszczuk Government to assist Central Queensland farmers bid for water from the new Rookwood Weir.
Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the support scheme was open to Lower Fitzroy landholders interested in participating in the second tender for water – to be held in 2022 – from the $367.7 million weir.
“The program will assist irrigators in understanding and capitalising on the many opportunities made available by securing water from this region-changing piece of infrastructure,” he said.
“The program will assist irrigators to better understand and capitalise on the opportunities to grow their interests by securing water from this region-changing piece of infrastructure.
“Supporting our agricultural industry and supporting investment in infrastructure like Rookwood Weir is an important part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“Landholders will be able to seek specialised advice on a range of issues, from transitioning to higher value crops to how to put their best foot forward in the second stage of the tender process.
“The majority of water from the weir will go towards Central Queensland irrigation, so we want to make sure local farmers have everything they need to make informed decisions.”
A minimum of 7,500 megalitres will be released in the second stage of the tender, with bidders able to apply for lots of up to 500 megalitres. This follows the successful sale of 30,000 megalitres in December 2020.
The Landholder Support Program will be facilitated on behalf of Sunwater by Advance Rockhampton, the economic development, investment, and industry growth unit of Rockhampton Regional Council.
The services available will include farm and land use planning, agronomy assessment, irrigation design, commercial feasibility assessments and legal advice.
Rockhampton Mayor Tony Williams said the program had been developed from information gathered in an Expressions of Interest process in 2020.
“The scheme will be tailored specifically to farmers’ landholdings and will assist them in understanding and gathering the relevant information to participate in the second tender,” he said.
Sunwater will fund the program in the form of a grants application process to enable eligible landholders to access to the services.
Construction of the weir continues, with the earthworks program at the site close to completion ahead of the first concrete pours in coming weeks.
“We are making significant progress on-site and are on track to deliver the weir by 2023 as planned, weather permitting,” Sunwater Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stockton said.
Media contacts: Minister Butcher – Daniel Lato - 0438 891 15