Central Queensland farmers can now bid for water from the $367.2 million dollar Rookwood Weir.
This round of tenders makes 7,500 megalitres of water available in lots from 10 megalitres (up to 500 megalitres) for agricultural and non-urban use.
This is the second tranche of water licenses, following the completion of the first stage of the process in December 2020, which provided an allocation of 30,000 megalitres.
Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher says 50 per cent of water from the weir will be allocated to agricultural use.
“This is a game-changer for the region, and I encourage local growers to put their hand up for the new water to help expand and improve their businesses, or transition to high-value crops,” he says.
“The flow-on benefits for the broader community will be enormous, as a boost to the agricultural sector will result in more good jobs and better services.
“Building the weir is delivering good, secure jobs and economic benefits for Central Queensland right now – while the water it captures will provide more of the same for future generations.”
Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke says the water will benefit landholders planning commercial cropping, such as grains, as well as tree crops, such as dragon fruits and macadamias.
“We expect strong local interest in the tender with more than 70 landholders registering an expression of interest in securing a water allocation.
“Additionally, more than 40 landholders took part in a Sunwater-funded program that was facilitated by Advance Rockhampton and provided advice to on how to capitalise on business opportunities through water from the weir.”
Sunwater CEO Glenn Stockton says the Rookwood workforce is making good progress on the weir’s construction, with the total planned volume of concrete to be poured approaching 50 per cent.
“We are working around the clock to do as much as we can ahead of the wet season,” he says.
“The first water from Rookwood Weir is on track to be available in late 2023, following the full commissioning of the infrastructure.”
Tenders are open until February 3 next year, with bids to be submitted via the Queensland Government’s QTenders website.