Railway bridge of the Fitzroy River.

The second tender for water from the soon-to-be-completed Rookwood Weir has concluded, with 21 successful bidders securing a total allocation of 6,000ML for productive irrigation use.

Strong interest from across the region resulted in 21 successful bids, with 6,082ML sold from an available 7,500ML.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said, “It is great to confirm that 21 landholders have successfully secured a future water allocation from Rookwood Weir.

“50 per cent of the water from Rookwood Weir will be used for agricultural purposes, to allow farmers and businesses to expand or diversify their operations.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said water is one of our country’s most precious resources.

“The Queensland Government knows how vital the nearly completed Rookwood Weir project is to delivering water security to support economic growth in Central Queensland.

“It is great to see the second stage of water sales concluded. Extra water allocations of 6,000ML will unlock further agricultural opportunities across Central Queensland,” Ms Plibersek said. 

Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton, said that Sunwater will work with successful bidders in coming months to ensure that they have the tools, information, and water infrastructure they need to access water from Rookwood Weir.

“The project team is making great progress on-site, with day and night concrete pours continuing for the weir’s foundations, abutments, monoliths and spilling basins,” Mr Stockton said. 

“We remain on track for construction to be finished later this year, weather permitting.”

Sunwater will now determine how best to make the unsold water available for future sale.

Allocations of between ten and 500ML were available, and the water will be used for a variety of primary industry purposes, from grain, fruit, and nut cropping, to supporting livestock production.

Finalisation of the second tender follows the successful completion of the first stage of the process in December 2020, which provided 30,000ML.

As part of their submissions, tender two applicants were required to demonstrate how their use of the water will contribute to the local economy.

Prior to the tender, several local farmers took part in the $1.2 million Landholder Support Program facilitated by Advance Rockhampton, to help them prepare their submission.

The Rookwood workforce continues to make great progress on-site with construction of the weir now 74 percent complete.

Rockhampton MP, Barry O’Rourke, said Rookwood Weir has already provided a significant economic boost – with more than 300 construction jobs and numerous flow-on benefits for local businesses and suppliers.

“Now, the water from the weir will add further value with more agricultural jobs and supply chain opportunities, while allowing farmers to transition to higher-value crops.”

Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams, said Rookwood Weir is proving to be a significant driver of economic growth and jobs in the region.

“Council has worked closely with Sunwater through the Rookwood Weir Landholder Support Program to help local landowners develop business plans and take part in the tender process.

“With our region already seeing the benefits of the first tranche of Rookwood’s water sales through new investments and initiatives; we are excited to see the outcomes that will be delivered from this latest round of water sales.”

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