$300m mega-project worth 2400 jobs wins approval

A $300 million central Queensland project, that will create more than 2000 jobs, has received its final tick from the Federal Government.

Today it will be announced Rookwood Weir has received environmental approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, meaning it is "shovel ready" according to the Federal Government.

The site of Rookwood Weir.
The site of Rookwood Weir. Campbell Gellie

The water security project, which is set to provide up to 400 construction and 2100 ongoing jobs, is now in the hands of the State Government.

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the announcement makes the project one step closer to becoming a reality.

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"Rookwood is a vital project that has both the potential to drought-proof central Queensland and provide a $1 billion boost," Mr O'Dowd said.

Already $130 million has been promised from the Federal Government to help build the weir between Gladstone and Rockhampton.

But the project still needs approval from the State Government, which is assessing the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Business Case.

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Michelle Landry MP at the Rookwood Weir announcement.
Photo Contributed / The Capricorn Coast Mirror
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Michelle Landry MP at the Rookwood Weir announcement. Photo Contributed / The Capricorn Coast Mirror Contributed RCC

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the investment in job-creating water projects was a major part of the Coalition Government's plan to boost economy.

"More water means more wealth and more jobs - and jobs are what central and north Queensland needs," he said.

Now the Coalition is calling on the State Government to finish the approval process.

For the project to go ahead, which will create water security for Gladstone and Rockhampton during a drought, it also needs an additional funding support of $130 million from the State Government or private enterprise.

"This project affects the whole region, from Biloela, to Gladstone, to Duaringa, Rockhampton and Yeppoon; it should be bigger than politics, it should be built," Mr O'Dowd said.

WHY IS ROOKWOOD WEIR BIG FOR GLADSTONE? | LISTEN

In December last year the co-ordinator general released an evaluation report of the EIS which included a comprehensive set of stringent conditions to protect water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, animal habitats and endangered flora.

The project is expected to fuel a $1 billion boom in farm production across central Queensland.

Capricornia federal member Michelle Landry said the State Government needed to finish the business case for Rookwood Weir.

"Our investments are to make up for lost time," she said.



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