Growing Central Queensland

Phase 1: Rookwood Weir, Fitzroy River

Phase 2: Agricultural Infrastructure to support the water infrastructure

Beef Australia 2015Rockhampton is identified as the Beef Capital of Australia due to its predominance in beef breeding, hosting the triennial BEEF Australia Expo, housing two of the nation’s largest cattle processing plants, location of the State’s largest livestock exchange and home to a number of key beef breeding associations.

In addition, CQUniversity is one of only four Australian Universities to achieve the Commonwealth’s highest possible research ranking: Level 5. Well above world standard in Agricultural and Vet Sciences, and the only Australian University to achieve top ranking in the subcategory of Agriculture and Farm Management.  CQ University is the highest ranked Agricultural research institution in Northern Australia and the only dual sector university (offering Agricultural studies from the Certificate level, to undergraduate to PhD) which is research-intensive Agriculture.

The Deloitte, Positioning for Prosperity, report, identified the next wave of growth opportunities for Australia as being the “Fantastic Five” – agribusiness, gas, tourism, international education and wealth management. With favourable investment in these areas already occurring in the Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton Region, the region is poised for this next wave of growth.

The Central Queensland region has the potential to become one of the nation’s premier supply and service centres for a broad range of agricultural product and produce.  Central Queensland provides a natural choice for a diverse range of agricultural investments. Through the development of Eden Bann and Rookwood Weirs on the Fitzroy River the region can further the agricultural industry’s position as a major agricultural ‘food bowl’ to the region and beyond. The Rookwood Weir site is approximately 66 km south west of Rockhampton on the Fitzroy River and is proposed to be developed in two stages.

Rookwood Weir

The Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process was completed and approved with conditions in February 2017. The independent assessment of the $352M Rookwood Weir proposal was made public in January 2018. Both the Federal Government and State Government committed to support the construction of the Weir.

The November 2023 progress report indicated the weir works are 100% complete, with work at Hanrahan Crossing also 100% complete and the Foleyvale Crossing Upgrade 97% complete. The project reports a Central Queensland spend to date of $277m. In November 2023 there were 118 people employed on the project, with the workforce having peaked at 384. The Queensland Government reported in early August that the cost of the project had increased to $568.9m from the originally planned budget of $367.2m. The minister indicated construction at Rookwood Weir had been hampered by six flood events and Covid-19 lockdown, supply chain issues and escalating costs.

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Friday 9 June 2023 Rookwood Weir water flows for Central Queensland Farmers with 21 successful bidders to receive water following second tender. Read the media release.

Friday 26 May 2023 $17 million for Foleyvale Crossing upgrades with construction to start to upgrade a crossing at Foleyvale upstream from Rookwood Weir. Read the media release.

Wednesday 23 November 2022 Rookwood water tenders support good farming jobs in CQ with the announcement of online tenders officially opened. Read the media release.

Thursday 15 September 2022 First concrete pours underway for Rookwood Weir with the project starting to rise out of the Fitzroy River. Read the media release.

Thursday 11th March 2021 More funding to raise Rookwood Weir committed by the Queensland and Federal Governments to unlock an additional 10,000 additional megalitres of water for Central Queensland. Read the media release.

Thursday 17th December 2020 Rookwood Weir stage one water sales process complete with two bidders securing 30,000 megalitres of water for agricultural use. Read the media release.

Thursday 17th December 2020Central Queensland workers and irrigators will benefit from the signing of an agreement that will shift delivery of Rookwood Weir into high gear. At least 140 local jobs will flow after Sunwater and its construction partners received State Government approval to enter Stage 2 of the $352.2 million project, to be built on the Fitzroy River west of Rockhampton. Read the media release.

At the 29 October 2020 Major Projects Forum, Hamish Smith (Rookwood Weir Support Services Manager), provided an update on the Rookwood Weir and its opportunities –

Wednesday 29 April 2020 You are invited to have your say on proposed changes to the Fitzroy Basin water plan to allow for new water allocations and trading opportunities in the Rookwood Weir region. Submissions close Friday 12 June 2020. Read the media release.

Wednesday 22 January 2020 Full ‘stream’ ahead for Rookwood Weir. Read the media release.

Wednesday 20 October 2019 Ground broken, jobs delivered for Rookwood Weir. Read the media release.

Wednesday 2 October 2019Bids open to build Central Queensland’s 352 million Rookwood Weir. Read the media release. Go to tender portal

Monday 30 September 2019 Sunwater conducted an Industry Briefing in Brisbane on 30 September ahead of the release of the EOI documents on QTenders on 2 October.

Wednesday 25 September 2019 The multi-million-dollar contract to build the $352 million Rookwood Weir will be open to Expressions of Interest on October 2 with the contract to provide a major boost to Central Queensland from the jobs and economic benefits that will flow from the construction. Click here to view a release from the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy for more information.

Friday 2 August 2019, Sunwater is working on a revised, ungated Rookwood Weir design. The change to an ungated weir makes it easier to build and maintain, without compromising its value. The design changes are not expected to cause any delay to the planned contract award date for the weir in mid-2020. As previously communicated, Sunwater is finalising its agreement with Rockhampton Regional Council for the Thirsty Creek Road upgrade which is expected to begin in October 2019, weather permitting.

Click here to view a release from the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy for more information.

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You may also be interested in ….

Queensland Government Media Release – First contract in train for Rookwood Weir

Morning Bulletin News Clippings – Growing Central Queensland

Media Release: SunWater welcomed as proponent for $352 million Rookwood Weir

Queensland commodity outlook – a brief review of selected agricultural commodities in the region.

National and international issues affecting the region – the challenges and opportunities for long term food demand.

Lower Fitzroy Infrastructure Project