$60m Big Rocks Weir a step closer for Charters Towers

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Queenslanders can now have their say on draft terms of reference for the proposed $60 million Big Rocks Weir project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Queensland’s Coordinator-General had released the draft terms of reference for the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS).

“Big Rocks Weir is now one of three major water infrastructure projects in the broader Burdekin Catchment currently undergoing full environmental impact assessment processes,” Mr Miles said.

“The Queensland Government supports progressing investigations into the construction of a 10,000 megalitre weir as proposed at Big Rocks on the Burdekin River, about 26 kilometers north of Charters Towers.

“Charters Towers Regional Council estimates the project would have a capital cost of about $60 million and create 172 full-time equivalent jobs during construction.

“Major infrastructure projects such as these are helping us to plan for better water security and more jobs for Queenslanders.”

Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the Palaszczuk Government had committed $3 million for Charters Towers Regional Council to conduct environmental and other regulatory approvals, geotechnical assessments, detailed weir design, and water product and pricing definition.

“The proposed Big Rocks Weir project could boost North Queensland’s economy and create jobs for the North of our state,” Mr Butcher said.

“Big Rocks Weir is proposed to have a capacity of 10,000 megalitres and would augment urban and agricultural water supply in the Charters Towers region, supporting ongoing jobs growth and water security.”

Public comment on the project’s draft terms of reference open Monday 10 May and can be made until 5pm on Monday 7 June 2021.

All comments received will be considered during the finalisation of the terms of reference setting out the matters that Charters Towers Regional Council must address when preparing the project’s EIS.

As well as being invited to comment on the draft terms of reference, the public will be able to make submissions on the draft EIS later in the assessment process.

Big Rocks Weir was declared by the Coordinator-General as a coordinated project on 29 March 2021, beginning the process for a full environmental impact assessment.

“The project requires a rigorous assessment of all environmental, social and economic effects which will be informed by extensive community consultation,” Mr Miles said.

There are two other water infrastructure projects in the broader Burdekin Catchment which have also been declared as coordinated projects and are undergoing assessment, the proposed raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam wall, declared a coordinated project in July 2020, and the proposed Urannah Project, declared in May 2020.

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