EXCLUSIVE: $300m Rookwood Weir project edges closer
THE ENVIRONMENTAL impact statement Rookwood Weir needed to go ahead has been approved by the Co-ordinator General.
In an exclusive statement released to The Morning Bulletin yesterday, it was announced the Co-ordinator General approved the EIS for the lower Fitzroy infrastructure project.
State development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Co-ordinator General's evaluation report included a comprehensive set of stringent conditions to protect water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, animal habitats and endangered flora.
Dr Lynham said the conditions would protect habitat for the red goshawk, powerful owl, Fitzroy River Turtle and white-throated snapping turtle.
"The approval also includes important protections for endangered black ironbark trees and threatened brigalow ecological community as well as ensuring vegetation connectivity around the weirs," Dr Lynham said.
Although the EIS has now been approved, the Rookwood Weir is unable to progress without the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project Business Case, which is not expected to be finalised until at least mid next year.
Rookwood Weir project expalined:
Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said that there was also progress with preparation of the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project Business Case, being led by Building Queensland, which involves detailed economic assessment.
"Multiple options have been assessed, including the construction of the new Rookwood Weir and the raising of the existing Eden Bann Weir," Mr Byrne said.
"The Steering Committee has considered Building Queensland's assessment and confirmed further detailed analysis will now concentrate on Rookwood Weir.
"Building Queensland is continuing its detailed and thorough assessment of the business case for Rookwood weir on behalf of the Queensland Government and the project proponents Gladstone Area Water Board and SunWater.
"Ultimately, the business case will ascertain the best way to achieve the optimal water supply solution for the region and careful consideration is prudent given the financial contribution that may be required from both the Federal and State governments. "The point of these studies is to determine the feasibility of proposed future water infrastructure projects, whether they stack up economically and environmentally."
The report now goes to the Federal Minister for Environment and Energy.