Rookwood Weir Project – FAQ

Rookwood Weir Project

Fitzroy River

Sunwater is committed to delivering water for prosperity, benefiting Central Queensland communities, agriculture and industrial enterprise.

Frequently asked questions

About the Rookwood Weir project

What is the Rookwood Weir project?

The construction of Rookwood Weir will capture valuable water in the lower Fitzroy River, which will enable landholders to transition to higher value agricultural land use, facilitate new industrial business opportunities and provide future water security for the region.

The project will require the construction of a new bridge upstream of the weir at Riverslea, plus upgrades to Thirsty Creek Road and the Capricorn Highway intersection at Gogango to ensure the local road network can safely manage weir construction traffic.

Where will Rookwood Weir be located?

Rookwood Weir will be located in the lower Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton.

Who is funding the project?

The Queensland and Australian governments have each contributed $183.6 million to the total project budget with Sunwater funding the remainder.

What is the full supply volume of the weir?

Upon completion, Rookwood Weir will be the largest weir operated by Sunwater in regional Queensland.

Subject to final design, the weir’s full supply volume will be 74,325 megalitres (ML) and will yield up to an estimated 86,000 ML of medium priority water – subject to final design.

Who will use the water from Rookwood Weir?

The Rookwood Weir project will provide water security for urban water supply to Livingston Shire Council and Gladstone Water Authority Board, plus stimulate economic growth through high-value irrigated agriculture and industrial business opportunities. The majority of the water will be available through the purchase of a water allocation for agricultural use through a water tender process.

What is the timeframe for the construction / operation of Rookwood Weir?

Early works commenced in late 2020 with major in-river construction commencing in April 2021. Construction is expected to take up to three years to complete (subject to approvals and weather permitting).

Who will construct Rookwood Weir?

The design and construction of the weir is being managed by:
• Sunwater – construction authority, operator and water marketer
• GHD – designer
• ACCIONA and McCosker Contracting – constructor.

Why was the height of Rookwood Weir originally lowered?

The original Rookwood Weir proposal was for a gated structure that was significantly more expensive to build than first estimated.

To achieve maximum water yield and deliver the project within the $352.2 million budget, a decision was made in August 2019 to change the design from a gated to an ungated structure. 

The following design requirements had to be managed with the budget available:

  • improved design structural integrity (hydraulic modelling)
  • the size and complexity of the fish locks, resulting in additional structural requirements (35 per cent more concrete)
  • EIS and environmental offset costs.

Why was the height of Rookwood Weir then raised?

Following a detailed assessment into the impact of a raising on project costs, yield, timeframe, and the approvals process, a decision was made in March 2021 to raise the height of Rookwood Weir by 0.7 metres (45.5 metres RL to 46.2 metres RL).

The increased weir height provides the opportunity to enhance the long-term benefits for the community by supplying more water for agricultural expansion.
The 0.7 metre raising will yield an additional 10,000 ML of medium priority water. Depending on the final mix of available water, the weir will now yield up to 86,000 ML of medium priority water.
The additional cost to raise the weir is estimated at $12 million.
The weir height change will not impact the project’s compliance with the Fitzroy Basin water plan or the delivery timeframe of the project, with the first water from the weir to be available in 2023.

Who will own the weir?

The Queensland Government will own the weir for up to five years post-construction. During this time, the weir will be operated and maintained by Sunwater. At the completion of this period, the weir will be transferred to Sunwater’s ownership.

Both the Queensland and Australian governments have committed to fund the project and Sunwater is the State entity responsible for the construction and operation of the weir as well as marketing and sales of the water.

What is the project timeline?

Sunwater immediately commenced preparatory activities for the Rookwood Weir project when it was appointed construction authority, marketer and operator by the Queensland Government in July 2018. This included establishing a dedicated project team.

A number of road upgrades to enable construction of the weir are underway, including the Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango and the upgrade at Thirsty Creek Road. The Riverslea Bridge upgrade is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Land and environmental approvals are progressing, while a request for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) extension has been submitted and approved. A revised Social Impact Assessment was submitted to the Coordinator-General’s office in early May 2020 for approval before works commence.

Sunwater entered into the alliance for the main weir package in September 2020 and early works commenced in late 2020.

Construction is expected to be completed and weir commissioned and operational by end of 2023.

Why is water from Rookwood Weir going to Gladstone?

While the final yield of water available from the weir is yet to be determined (estimated to be up to 86,000ML MP), no matter the outcome, the majority will be for local landholders and agriculture.

That said however, one of the key considerations and justifications for building the weir was to provide water security to the region (including Gladstone). The Gladstone Area Water Board made a commitment to take water from the weir to supplement its supplies from Awoonga Dam and improve the reliability of water supply to the people and industries in the Gladstone region. The project was given the green light to proceed based on this commitment.

Will a pipeline to Gladstone be built as part of the Rookwood Weir project?

Sunwater, as the construction authority, is building Rookwood Weir to capture valuable water from the Fitzroy River for region. Any associated pipeline infrastructure is not within the scope of the project. The Gladstone Area Water Board is progressing work on the water delivery pipeline from the Fitzroy River to Gladstone.

Sale of water from Rookwood Weir

How much water will be available for landowners?

We are working to maximise the yield available from Rookwood Weir, considering both high priority (HP) and medium priority (MP) water.
Following a detailed assessment into the impact of a raising on project costs, yield, timeframe, and the approvals process, a decision was made in March 2021 to raise the height of the Rookwood Weir by 0.7 meters.
Depending on the final mix of available water, the weir will now yield up to 86,000 ML of MP.
Sunwater completed the first stage of the tender process in December 2020, providing 30,000 ML of MP water for agricultural and non-urban use.
Through the Water Sales tender two program, there will be an opportunity to secure smaller water lots in 2022 (minimum of 7,500 ML of MP available).

How can I secure a water allocation?

Sunwater invited landholders and investors to discuss their water needs and the opportunity to secure a water allocation from Rookwood Weir.

Sunwater will sell water from Rookwood Weir through a two-step process:

  1. Tender One water sales process for lots 500 ML and greater was held in late July 2020 (maximum of 30,000 ML available)
  2. An expressions of interest (EOI) process was created to work with Sunwater in preparation for the second tender of smaller water lots (Tender Two), which is expected to be held in 2022.

The expression of interest (EOI) for landholders to nominate their interest in obtaining assistance from Sunwater to prepare for Tender Two closed on 30 November 2020. It was not a requirement to submit an EOI to participate in Tender Two or to apply for a support package. The EOI process gave participants an opportunity to provide feedback which was considered when designing the support packages now available to landholders through the Rookwood Weir Landholder Support Program.

How much will the water cost?

The price of water from the weir takes into consideration many factors, including amendments to the water plan, ongoing operational costs, and the cost to closely manage, monitor and mitigate any risks to the environment. Ultimately, the market will set the purchase price for water allocations which makes the expected price difficult to predict.  

Sunwater can guarantee that the cost of building the weir will not be a factor in determining the cost to purchase a water allocation.  Operational and maintenance costs post-construction will be used to determine the ongoing charges for water allocation owners (i.e. Part A and Part B).

The water plan for Fitzroy Basin

How can I provide feedback on the changes to the water plan?

The Queensland Government finalised amendments to the Fitzroy Basin Water Plan and associated water planning documents in June 2021. These amendments are the result of 12 months of public consultation and scientific analysis to ensure the water from Rookwood Weir supports local agricultural, environmental, cultural and urban needs into the future. View the amendment plan here.

To find out about the water planning process or to get in contact with a water planner, visit the Queensland Government’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water website.

Business opportunities

Where can I register my business to secure work on the project?

Sunwater partnered with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to connect contractors, subcontractors and suppliers with project opportunities.

Local industry operators registered their interest through the ICN supplier portal. Suppliers for the project have been procured and the portal is now closed.  

Find out more…

How can I receive project updates?

To receive project updates, you can:

How do find out more information about the project?

While every effort has been made to provide you with as much information as possible about the project within the Rookwood Weir project webpages, we welcome all community enquiries.

If you have a question, you can contact us by emailing or phoning the project hotline on 1800 423 213. Media enquiries regarding the project should be directed to the Sunwater media team at or (07) 3120 0047.