Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project
Building Queensland is leading the development of a Business Case for the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project in partnership with the joint proponents, SunWater and the Gladstone Area Water Board.
The components of the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project comprise construction and operation of Rookwood Weir, and upgrades to and construction of roads and bridges and associated infrastructure. The proposed weir infrastructure will operate in concert with the existing Fitzroy Barrage located in Rockhampton.
The project has the potential to provide water for urban, industrial and agricultural uses. If it proceeds, it is expected to be staged with sequencing and timing dependent on various demand triggers, including existing and new consumers, drought conditions and security of supply requirements. Development of the project is currently limited to the 76,000 ML reserve for strategic water infrastructure on the Fitzroy River under the Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011.
The Environmental Impact Statement for the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project was approved by the Coordinator General on 8 December 2016 and conditionally approved by the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 on 28 February 2017.
The Business Case is a separate process that considers the economic benefits and financial costs in addition to social, environmental and sustainability impacts. Key considerations in the Business Case include water demand, water pricing, funding and financing models, delivery and operating models, and costs, risks and benefits associated with the proposed infrastructure.
A Request for Information Process is currently underway to assess demand for water from the proposed Rookwood Weir. Interested persons are encouraged to view the documentation and provide information by 12 May 2017.
The Australian Government has made an election commitment to provide conditional capital funding of $130 million from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. This funding is subject to the outcomes of the Business Case and other matters.
The Business Case is anticipated to be completed for consideration by the boards of SunWater and the Gladstone Area Water Board in Quarter 3 2017 and subsequently government.