CQ gets say on Rookwood as project takes next step
CONSULTATION officially opens today for the $352 million Rookwood Weir project in Central Queensland.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) said the process was a significant next step for the project and would ensure that water products met farmer and industry needs to maximise growth and jobs.
“We’re still pushing ahead with projects like this and supporting jobs in regions just like Rockhampton,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
A Statement of Proposals is now public, outlining several options for how the water in Rookwood Weir could be allocated.
All options include high priority water for Gladstone and medium priority water for farmers.
High priority water is more reliable than medium, costs more, and is typically used for town water or industry.
Medium priority is typically what farmers buy.
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said this was an important stage of planning for Rookwood Weir and input was needed now with the government progressing the project with its own funds.
“The Fitzroy Basin Water Plan is being amended to support the construction and operation of this region-changing piece of water infrastructure,” Mr Lynham said.
“Sunwater and my Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy are bringing options for consultation to the people who know best what they need – farmers, urban water authorities, and industry.
“With their input, Rookwood will deliver the optimum volume of high and medium priority water, the water trading opportunities, in the right mix and where they were needed. That’s how we maximise the growth opportunities for agriculture and industry and the local jobs that will flow from this development.”
Mr Lynham said the existing water plan included a number of environmental safeguards, including limiting impacts on turtles and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
He said Sunwater would also soon start sales and marketing activity for the Rookwood water, which would eventually include a tender process for water allocations.
Mr Lynham said consultation on the Statement of Proposals would be integrated into a draft water plan, which would then be released for a second round of feedback in the second half of 2020.
He said a final water plan would follow ahead of construction of the weir starting in 2021.
Consultation is open until 5pm on June 12.
It includes video conferences, phone meetings, as well as the usual online submissions to meet COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
For more information on the consultation process go to https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/land-water/initiatives/amendments-fitzroy-basin-rookwood-weir