Mayoral candidate Lea Taylor says the Rookwood Weir is a key commitment.
Mayoral candidate Lea Taylor says the Rookwood Weir is a key commitment. Sharyn Oneill

Lea Taylor will lobby for weir

LEA Taylor says if he becomes mayor he will make the creation of Rookwood Weir a top priority.

A weir, and new bridge over the Fitzroy at Riverslea will alleviate the problem of flood isolation as well as provide additional water for irrigation, intensified farming and to cater for growth in population and industrial development for decades to come, he says.

"It's been talked about for more than 25 years and it's vital to the citizens of this area," said Mr Taylor, a former mayor of Rockhampton City Council.

He argues the current council has not done enough to seek State and Federal Government investment in the project and says he will aggressively lobby to have the weir and bridge built as soon as possible.

And he is ready for a water war with Gladstone over the precious resource.

"Rookwood Weir is needed for the safety of these hard working families as well as for the sustainable long-term strength of the Rockhampton region.

"We need it to be on the drawing board right now for the benefit of our region, not Gladstone," he said.

"Gladstone must stand on its own two feet and develop its own river catchment systems."

Mr Taylor said Rockhampton must closely guard its water.

"I will not stand by and watch this asset, which belongs to the people of this river system, robbed of our heritage and that which is rightfully ours," he said.

A weir would provide the opportunity to flush the river system when necessary and would have helped to lower the salinity level which caused so many issues with drinking water in recent months, he said.

And a new bridge is vital to solve the problems affecting those who are regularly cut off when the low level bridge over the river is overwhelmed for weeks and months on end.

"These people are having to cart their groceries across by tinny and through mud. I know that they choose to live there, but this is the 21st Century for heaven's sake."

In May 2010 the Department of Environment and Resource Management produced a report which estimated the construction cost of Rookwood Weir at $72 million.

It would provide a storage capacity of about 84,000 megalitres and could be expanded to hold 117,300 megalitres.

 

ROOKWOOD WEIR

Mayoral candidate Lea Taylor says he will aggressively lobby for it to be made a top priority

Project was costed at $72 million in May 2010

It would create a storage for 84,000 megalitres

10 families regularly stranded by swollen Fitzroy at Riverslea

A project including a high bridge would solve their periodic isolation

Lea Taylor says project could be completed quickly if funded because it would not require much land acquisition.



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