Construction of Rookwood Weir in Central Queensland is expected to start next year after the progression of talks between the Federal and State governments.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Government was determined to see the weir, south-west of Rockhampton, built and had committed $176 million to the project.
He said work was due to commence next year, with the project due to be completed by late 2021.
Mr McCormack welcomed the State Government’s written commitment last week towards finalising a workable agreement and project structure.
He said the project was set to deliver about 2100 jobs and expand irrigated agricultural production in the Lower Fitzroy region by up to $1 billion a year.
“Water is the lifeblood which empowers regional communities and economies throughout Australia while making a significant contribution to our nation,” Mr McCormack said.
“Building the Rookwood Weir shows our government’s commitment to developing regional communities and we welcome moves towards working together with the Queensland government to help ensure shovels are in the ground in 2019 to build this project.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said the $176 million commitment proved how serious the Federal Government was about the project.
“Important discussions regarding funding arrangements for the weir have been ongoing with the Queensland Government since June and we have now received Queensland’s response proposing an alternative structure which we welcome,” Senator Canavan (pictured) said.
“The two governments will now move ahead with settling governance and funding arrangements, which could be finalised as early as next month.”