Completion of new bridge for Rookwood Weir

JOINT STATEMENT

The new bridge over the Fitzroy River has officially opened.

The $12.5 million structure at Riverslea is the third road upgrade delivered as part of the $367.2 million Rookwood Weir project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Rookwood Weir project is supporting employment and economic development opportunities and will significantly increase water security for Central Queensland.

“The Rookwood Weir is a great example of the Australian Government delivering the water infrastructure that will form the National Water Grid, our $3.5 billion investment to secure Australia’s water future.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles today officially opened the new bridge and handed its ownership over to Rockhampton Regional Council.

“The completion of the bridge is yet another milestone for a project that is supporting 200 jobs for Queenslanders – 140 of which are going to local workers,” the Deputy Premier said.

“Rookwood Weir is transformational water infrastructure that will underpin agricultural growth and supply industrial and urban water in Central Queensland.

Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said Rookwood Weir was a project for Central Queensland.

“The 86,000 megalitres of water from the weir will give farmers greater opportunity to expand their businesses and put on more workers,” Minister Butcher said.

“It will also provide access to high priority water for the Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Gladstone communities.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the Riverslea Bridge project was a great example of local workers delivering for their community.

“For the past year, the bridge works provided jobs for more than 30 Central Queenslanders, while concrete for the bridge was sourced from AMCOR, a Gracemere-based contractor,” he said.

“Two road upgrades – Thirsty Creek Road and the Gogango Intersection – were completed last year for a further $9.7 million and an additional 61 jobs.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said it is great to see work continue to ramp-up at the Rookwood Weir site with benefits flowing to the local community.

“The new accommodation camp, which houses up to 250 Rookwood Weir staff, is now fully operational, providing economic opportunities for local workers, such as cleaners and hospitality workers.” Ms Landry said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the Morrison-McCormack Government was committed to delivering the water security that central and north Queenslanders needed, wanted, expected and deserved.

“This is about delivering for our regional communities who rely on water – we know water will be key to growing our agricultural industry to a $100 billion enterprise by 2030,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Tony Williams said the structure replaces a crossing at the location, which would otherwise be inundated when the Rookwood Weir reaches full water supply.

“The previous crossing could go under water for weeks at a time during the wet season – forcing residents to cross the river by boat,” he said.

“The new bridge is already providing safety benefits for the community, allowing families to get their kids to school and quicker trips to nearby towns.”

The single-lane bridge is 18 metres high and 260 metres long and consists of 16 girders each weighing 80 tonnes. The works also included the construction of 300 metres of new road connecting the approaches to the bridge, as well as passing bays at both ends.

Sunwater Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stockton said the structure was redesigned last year to minimise environmental impacts.

“The team came up with a solution that involved reducing riverbank earthworks to improve river flow. We are pleased to have delivered the bridge upgrade works on time and in a way that provides immediate benefit to the community.” he said.

The Rookwood Weir project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, which are each contributing $183.6 million, and is being delivered in partnership with Sunwater.

The first water from Rookwood Weir will be available in 2023.

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