Benefits of Rookwood Weir flow as planning for future Central Queensland water projects kick off

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher
  • Rookwood Weir (Managibei Gamu) is creating hundreds of new agricultural jobs in Central Queensland, with macadamias and other intensive horticulture projects underway
  • Central Queensland regional water assessment has commenced, with the first Stakeholder Advisory Group held in Rockhampton on 21 February 2024
  • Peak bodies, Councils and key water users will be heavily involved in this important process
  • Assessment builds on the completion of the Miles Government’s Rookwood Weir, as well as projects under construction like the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline and the Mount Morgan Pipeline


The economic benefits of Rookwood Weir are flowing, with agricultural businesses tracking ahead with horticulture projects. It is estimated at least 500 full time jobs will be created because of the agricultural growth seen from Rookwood Weir.

Major investments in irrigated agriculture are changing the landscape of Central Queensland, as Sunwater continues pre-commissioning work at the Weir.

Rural Funds Management is one of Rookwood Weir’s 25 water customers. The water from Rookwood Weir will allow the company to plant 800,000 macadamia trees over 2,500 hectares of orchards within the Fitzroy region, west of Rockhampton.

In addition to Rookwood Weir, a new regional water assessment (CQ RWA) will be delivered by the Queensland Government thanks to funds secured from the Albanese Labor Government. The CQ RWA will carefully review future infrastructure and non-infrastructure options needed in Central Queensland and what projects are needed to meet future demand. It builds on the Queensland Government’s extensive record of delivering water projects in Central Queensland while also planning for future water security.

The CQ RWA will help inform future investment decisions on water projects in Central Queensland to drive economic growth and ensure water security well into the future.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:

“In November we opened the largest weir built in Australia since World War II in Rockhampton, but we know there is more to do.

“Water is our most precious resource, and it is an essential part of our everyday lives.

“We know many parts of Queensland are already in drought, with more to be declared in the coming months.

“This strategic planning work is critical in ensuring we are planning for the future and investing in projects that stack up.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“Rookwood Weir is unlocking so many future jobs in food manufacturing, agriculture and services right across Central Queensland.

“With Rookwood Weir completed, the work begins on identifying that next generation of projects we need in Central Queensland to unlock economic growth through improved water security.

“While the LNP talk down hydrogen and talk down regional jobs, we are getting on with the planning work necessary to drive the next generation of economic opportunities for our region.

“It is Labor Governments that deliver the water infrastructure Central Queensland needs. In addition to Rookwood, it was a Labor Government that delivered the $270 million, 218 kilometre Burdekin to Moranbah Pipeline in 2007. In four years, the only thing the LNP did for Central Queensland water infrastructure was cut the Connors River Dam and try to sell Sunwater’s industrial pipelines business.

“The LNP are one trick ponies on water – they keep talking about dams they will never build, and that they will never have to pay for. We’ve shown a sensible approach to delivering new projects, like Rookwood Weir, the Mount Morgan Pipeline and the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline, which meet demand and stack up.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke:

“Rookwood Weir is good for Rockhampton and good for Central Queensland.

“Of course, it’s Labor Governments that deliver water security and water infrastructure. All the LNP do is complain, they can’t be trusted with our most precious resource.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga:

“I know it’s so important to do the planning work necessary for future projects.

“You can’t just draw projects up on the back of a coaster like Barnaby Joyce or Deb Frecklington – you need to carefully plan and make sure projects stack up.”

Quotes attributable to Rural Funds Management Senior Business Manager, Scott Roxburgh:

“This reliable water allocation is critical to our development plans. 30 direct jobs have been created, with 40 more jobs to be generated as the orchards mature. In addition, a more diverse skill set is being developed within the region.

“Water increases land productivity supporting larger workforces, higher regional asset values, and enables RFM to undertake higher and better use developments, such as the conversion of grazing land to macadamia orchards in Gogango.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for procurement from the local community for goods and services to support our development and operations.”

Further Information:

The $4.5 million assessment is funded from the Australian Government’s National Water Grid Fund and is part of $11.5 million Queensland has secured from the Australian Government for collaborative strategic planning work across Queensland.

The CQ RWA is part of the Miles Government’s water infrastructure planning program being carried out across the state, with assessments also being undertaken for the Atherton Tablelands, Southern and Darling Downs, Bundaberg and Burnett, and the Burdekin region.

Where detailed business cases or other studies have been completed or are underway, the CQ RWA will seek to incorporate information from those projects, including the outcomes of the Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme and the Nogoa Mackenzie Options Analysis processes funded by the National Water Grid Fund.

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