First concrete pours underway for Rookwood Weir

Queensland’s largest water infrastructure project is starting to rise out of the Fitzroy River, with the first concrete pours for the foundations of the Rockwood Weir commencing last week.

This marks another major construction milestone for the $367.2 million project, which will unlock thousands of megalitres of water to increase waster security, expand irrigated agricultural production and drive new employment and economic opportunities across Central Queensland.

Rookwood Weir has the ability to transform the region, driving the expansion of irrigated agricultural production and opening up new business opportunities which will boost the local economy. Ensuring a secure future for water, our farmers and the regional communities assists economic recovery.

Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the project is already delivering benefits across the region.

“It is great to see significant progress on this landmark project that will boost employment opportunities and economic growth across Central Queensland,” Minister Butcher said.

“We currently have 196 workers onsite to deliver the weir, 128 of which are Central Queenslanders, with 14 apprentices and trainees.

“Additionally, 95 per cent of project costs will be spent in Queensland.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Rookwood Weir project would enable the region to grow and prosper into the future.

“The approximately 86,000 megalitres of water Rookwood Weir will make available will underpin agricultural growth and deliver secure, reliable and affordable water across Central Queensland, setting up local industry to succeed,” Ms Landry said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said concrete is now being produced at the onsite batch plant and is being used for the weir’s spillway-monoliths and left abutment.

“This is an important step towards delivering the weir and making more water available to unlock the economic potential of the region,” Mr O’Dowd said.

State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the project team was working hard to keep to the construction timeline following a two-week shutdown last month after a contractor that visited the site tested positive for COVID-19.

“Work is back in full swing on this incredibly important local project and it’s a testament to the commitment of everyone that big strides are being made despite activities being stopped while workers quarantined.

Sunwater Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stockton said the pours take place at night for temperature control in mass concrete.

“The concrete pours are undertaken in a continuous operation over an 11-hour night shift for about 12 months and we will see the structure take shape over that time.”

“A range of other works for the project were also significantly advanced, including having moved 800,000 m3 of earthworks, while a coffer dam, which will help divert river flows, and a temporary river crossing are close to completion,” he said.

“All of these activities will help enable works to continue when the river height rises with the approaching wet season.”

Rookwood Weir is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, delivered in partnership with Sunwater.

The first water from Rookwood Weir will be available in 2023, following the full commissioning of the infrastructure.

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