DESIGN CHANGE: The Rookwood Weir will hold less water after redesigning the original plan to fit the budget.
DESIGN CHANGE: The Rookwood Weir will hold less water after redesigning the original plan to fit the budget.

Fears confirmed: Less water for Rookwood Weir

ROOKWOOD Weir will hold up to 22,000 megalitres less water than what was originally planned because of a budget blowout.

While the official difference in water capacity is not yet confirmed, a Queensland Government spokesman said the weir would hold less water as result of having to change the design.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham previously announced the weir would be built without gates as a result of cost increases.

He said removing the gates would ensure the project was delivered on time and within the project budget.

The $352 million project is a 50-50 partnership between the state and federal governments. When costs exceeded the budget, the Federal Government declined to contribute more money and the State Government went back to the drawing board.

Reducing the dam’s water capacity has attracted criticism from federal MPs Michelle Landry in Capricornia and Ken O’Dowd in Flynn.

Ms Landry said reducing the water capacity left regional Queenslanders in the dry.

“This drastic change in design means less water for crops, less water for livestock and less water for farmers to make a living”, Ms Landry said.

While Dr Lynham said redesigning the weir would allow the project to be delivered on time, Mr O’Dowd doubted the claims.

“Anthony Lynham said that the Queensland Government would meet the deadline to build Rookwood Weir but we’ve heard this all before,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Whether it is the black-throated finch, project cost blowouts or even the cost of concrete, the (State) Government always seems to find an excuse for not building in Central Queensland.”

Dr Lynham said Ms Landry and Mr O’Dowd sounded illinformed on a project their government was involved in.

The Thirsty Creek Road contact awarded to Rockhampton Regional Council is just one of the projects Dr Lynham said indicated the government was making progress.

The portal to enable businesses to register their interest in supplying goods and services to the Rookwood Weir project was another indication the project was progressing, according to Dr Lynham.