Palaszczuk government defends water infrastructure commitment

Construction underway for Rookwood Weir workers camp in Gogango

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State Water Minister and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher visited the construction site of the new Rookwood Weir workers camp at Thirsty Creek Road, Gogango, on Monday.

State Water Minister and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher visited the construction site of the new Rookwood Weir workers camp at Thirsty Creek Road, Gogango, on Monday.

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The Rookwood Weir project in central Queensland has hit another milestone.

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The Palaszczuk government continues to defend their water infrastructure commitment to Queenslanders, following mounting pressure from the federal government.

The political mudslinging comes on the back of a key milestone for the Rookwood Weir project, which is expected to boost water security and provide economic opportunities for the region.

On Monday, the state government announced construction has begun at the workers camp for Rookwood Weir, which will house up to 250 staff in Gogango, 68 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton.

Visiting the Rookwood Weir site, Water Minister and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher assured stakeholders his government was leading the construction of water infrastructure in central Queensland.

"Currently 52 people are working to construct the camp or are engaged in preliminary activities at the weir site, including surveying, environmental science, cultural heritage, drilling and construction," Mr Butcher said.

"Sunwater has already delivered the $2.2 million Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango to provide safe access for large earth-moving machinery and construction vehicles travelling to the weir site."

The $352.2m Rookwood Weir project completed the first stage of the water sales process in December last year.

Meanwhile, federal Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has called upon the state government to come clean on their poor record on building water infrastructure in Queensland.

"The federal government has put billions of dollars on the table for the Queensland government to build water infrastructure but so far, they only seem to downgrade water projects and try to tear them down like Paradise Dam," Ms Landry said.

"We want dams to be built and at the correct size. When I see projects like Rookwood Weir not being built to full capacity, it makes me angry."

Ms Landry said Labor was failing to build water infrastructure correctly and on time.

"It has taken until 2021 for the Queensland government to start building Rookwood with enormous cost blowouts," she said.

"Instead of a weir which will hold 76,000 megalitres of high priority water, it will hold 50,000ML of high priority water.

"The Labor Party has already started to fudge the figures and say it will have the capacity to hold 72,000ML of water but it is medium priority water."

However, Sunwater continue to maintain the full supply volume of Rookwood Weir will be 65,402ML for blended use - medium priority and high priority - and yield at 76,000ML.

Mr Butcher said due diligence with other projects and detailed business cases need to happen before dams are built.

"These business cases need to get right into the nitty gritty, not only for the dam itself but for impacts on communities, for impacts on the environment," he said.

"We need to make sure that all this work is done before we commit to any major water projects here in Queensland.

"The only thing the LNP did while in government was to can a dam - the Connors River Dam - and prepare dams for sale."

The Palaszczuk government's investment in water infrastructure includes:

  • $176 million for Rookwood Weir;
  • $215 million for the Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project (Stage 1) in Townsville and sealing a $24 million deal for the next stage of assessment for the proposed Hells Gates Dam;
  • $16.5 million for the Burdekin Falls Dam raising feasibility studies (which includes the detailed business case);
  • $14.53 million for the planning works for the Burdekin Falls Dam improvement project;
  • A $16.5 million contribution to modernising an existing open channel irrigation scheme on the Atherton Tablelands;
  • $13.6 million to kick start the new Emu Swamp Dam; and
  • $1 million feasibility study into a Warwick pipeline.

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The story Palaszczuk government defends water infrastructure commitment first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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