WITH the notorious year of 2020 almost in our rear vision mirror, The Morning Bulletin has pulled together a list of exciting multimillion-dollar projects in the pipeline, due to break ground or throw open their doors around Central Queensland in 2021.

From the arts, to sports, roads, health, defence, manufacturing, education and training, tourism and water security, there's plenty of big projects around the region that will generate employment and keep the economy ticking over.

Rockhampton Museum of Art

The scaffolding is coming down, windows are going in and soon the crane will come down at the construction site for the $31.5 million Rockhampton Museum of Art on Quay Street.

Jointly funded by local, State and Federal Governments, the completed structure will be six times the size of the existing Rockhampton Art Gallery, providing a home for the city's impressive art collection while delivering significant benefits to the community, generating tourism, economic benefits, and opening up new opportunities for local artists.

Construction was expected to be complete by the middle of 2021 and the new Rockhampton Museum of Art was due to open in late 2021.

ROOKWOOD MAP: These are the main features of the Rookwood Weir project which is situated on the Fitzroy River, approximately 66km southwest of Rockhampton.
ROOKWOOD MAP: These are the main features of the Rookwood Weir project which is situated on the Fitzroy River, approximately 66km southwest of Rockhampton.

Rookwood Weir

It's been a long wait since 2006 when the Rookwood Weir project was first suggested but progress is now accelerating on the vital water infrastructure.

Jointly funded by the State and Federal governments, Rookwood Weir will provide water security for the Central Queensland region, boost the regional economy, create jobs during construction and develop and diversify industry and agriculture.

Extensive preliminary works to upgrade the Capricorn Highway intersection at Gogango and Thirsty Creek Rd are complete and construction of a new Riverslea Bridge is ongoing.

Timeline for Fitzroy Basin water planning and Rookwood Weir
Timeline for Fitzroy Basin water planning and Rookwood Weir

Major milestones have recently been celebrated and in-river construction work was due to commence in April 2021 following the wet season.

More than 230 skilled and unskilled construction workers will be required across the two-to-three-year Rookwood Weir construction period and there is an explosion of local job vacancies being advertised already.

The weir was expected to be commissioned and operational by 2023.

Harry's view on the two competing stadiums.
Harry's view on the two competing stadiums.

Rockhampton's two sports stadiums

After decades of efforts seeking to secure a stadium to host international acts and bigger sporting matches, within a fortnight in September, Rockhampton cashed in, securing not one, but two separate funding commitments to build sporting stadiums.

The Federal Government stole a march on the Queensland Government, announcing it would pay for the entire $23 million Rocky Stadium proposed for Victoria Park - with both Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson claiming they were instrumental in securing the commitment.

The next step was for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to undertake a value with public money assessment.

If the project met Federal funding requirements and obligations as well as all relevant council and State approvals and processes, Rocky Sports Club co-founder Gavin Shuker was keen to get construction started as soon as possible.

In the lead up to the State Election, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke announced the renovation of Browne Park.

Costing $25m, the first stage of the redevelopment to replace the Jack Crow stand with 4,000 seats and includes amenities for women.

The State Government intends to add seating and other features to the Albert Street and George Street sides of the park in later stages, ending up with roughly 10,000 seats.

The 18-month construction process on the shovel-ready project was expected to begin early next year.

 

Rockhampton Ring Road fly over concept video: The very first concept vision for how the Rockhampton Ring Road project will appear.
Rockhampton Ring Road fly over concept video: The very first concept vision for how the Rockhampton Ring Road project will appear.

 

Roads, roads, roads

Roads will be upgraded throughout CQ in 2021 with the majority of big projects focused around the Rockhampton region.

Headlining the projects is the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road where 17.4 kilometres of new road, including 6.5 kilometres of bridging, will be built through the Fitzroy River flood-plain to the west the city.

Close up view of the alignment of the Rockhampton Ring Road and Western Road Rail Corridor.
Close up view of the alignment of the Rockhampton Ring Road and Western Road Rail Corridor.

Jointly-funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, the project shifted from the planning phase into the detailed design phase with the announcement of Jacobs SMEC Design Joint Venture being awarded the design contract in October.

Detailed design work was expected to continue until the end of 2021 with construction works proposed to take place from 2022 to 2026.

Work is progressing for the jointly-funded $157 million Bruce Highway - Rockhampton Northern Access project.

Expected to support 255 direct jobs, the 4.9km widening of the Bruce Highway to four lanes between the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road intersection and Ramsay Creek, commenced in early 2019 and was anticipated to finish by mid 2021.

To the west, the $75m Capricorn Highway duplication project is also taking shape

Upon its completion in mid 2021, it will improve travel times, safety and connectivity in the local area for 18,000 daily motorists, including 2000 heavy vehicles.

Work is edging forward towards duplicating the notorious Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd, which has claimed many lives over the years.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION: Central Queenslanders are being asked for their feedback on upgrading the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION: Central Queenslanders are being asked for their feedback on upgrading the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd.

Following a public consultation process between July and August to identify priority locations where to start building the $80m project, the Department of Main Roads has slated September 2020 to January 2021 for options analysis.

Between February and August 2021, a business case will be developed with the design phase commencing in December 2021.

Construction was due to commence in early 2023 and complete in mid-2025.

ROAD UPGRADE: A 13 km stretch of the Rockhampton to Yeppoon road from Mackays Rd to Iron Pot Road will benefit from a $5 million overhaul.
ROAD UPGRADE: A 13 km stretch of the Rockhampton to Yeppoon road from Mackays Rd to Iron Pot Road will benefit from a $5 million overhaul.

In the meantime, work was expected to begin shortly on a $5m overhaul of a 13km stretch of the Rockhampton to Yeppoon road from Mackays Rd to Iron Pot Road.

The first stage of works has begun on the $21.6m Stanage Bay Road project where 39.7kms would be sealed.

The work will be broken into four stages: Livingstone Shire Council will do the parts closest to Stevens Road Access Army Gate and straight off the Bruce Highway; the section in between will be split between LSC and the Federal Government and offered to local contractors.

The nearby $1b Shoalwater Bay Training Area expansion is also underway, delivering positive outcomes for the Australian Defence Force, the Singaporean Armed Forces and for local businesses with 47 companies have been engaged for delivery phase design and construction work.

ROAD MAP: Stanage Bay Road is almost 100km in length from the coast to the Bruce Highway with travel times depending upon the condition of the dirt road.
ROAD MAP: Stanage Bay Road is almost 100km in length from the coast to the Bruce Highway with travel times depending upon the condition of the dirt road.

Other CQ road project highlights include:

• $35m for widening and intersection upgrades on Gavial - Gracemere Road (Lawrie Street) at Gracemere.

• $19m Emu Park-Rocky Road upgrades including overtaking lanes and other priority safety and capacity improvements.

• $2.3m to upgrade Norman Road.

• $166m for Peak Downs Highway Safety Works

• Overtaking lanes, bridge upgrades and intersection upgrades for the Capricorn Highway and Bruce Highway.

Tourism boost for the Capricorn Coast

The Queensland Government has pledged $2m for the upgrade to Rosslyn Bay Boat Harbour for better facilities for local boaties and tourists accessing the southern Great Barrier Reef.

ELECTION COMMITMENT: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga was joined by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport Minister Mark Bailey to announce a $2 million election commitment to upgrade Rosslyn Bay Boat Harbour.
ELECTION COMMITMENT: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga was joined by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport Minister Mark Bailey to announce a $2 million election commitment to upgrade Rosslyn Bay Boat Harbour.

The Queensland Government has reaffirmed its $30m commitment towards revitalising GKI which would go towards a cyclone rated jetty, barge slant boat ramp, solar with backup generators, new walking trails, rehabilitate existing walking trails and visitor facilities including amenities, shade and seating.

Works were promised to begin before the end of 2020.

The Federal Government has budgeted $20m towards the construction of the Convention Centre at the Keppel Bay Sailing Club and awaits to see if the Queensland Government will offer a contribution.

Capricorn Coast's Cooberrie park Wildlife Sanctuary is pushing ahead with its ambitious $1 million plan to build a Capricorn Dinosaur Park.

The extension to the wildlife sanctuary would feature 35 life-size dinosaur replicas, a dinosaur dig, dinosaur walk, dinosaur mini-golf and additional infrastructure.

Construction on the job-creating project would last 10 months with a goal of being complete in time for the 2021 winter school holidays.

Surf Lakes owners have are working towards making their wave-generating prototype open to the public by beginning the approvals process and hosting a public information session on the project.

The exciting project is aims to welcome visitors within the next 12 to 24 months.

GNARLY PROJECT: General Manager Global Operations and International Media Director Wayne Dart (left), founder and CEO Aaron Trevis and Director Reuben Buchanan pose for a photo while the barrels roll in at Surf Lakes.
GNARLY PROJECT: General Manager Global Operations and International Media Director Wayne Dart (left), founder and CEO Aaron Trevis and Director Reuben Buchanan pose for a photo while the barrels roll in at Surf Lakes.

Health

The Queensland Government will spend $31m for an expansion of the Rockhampton Hospital that will enhance health services for Central Queenslanders and support 90 local construction jobs.

This includes $18.2m for the Rockhampton Hospital cardiac hybrid theatre, and $12.8m for the Rockhampton Hospital mental health ward expansion.

ELECTION PLEDGE: Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles and Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke promised $5.5 million to build an expanded North Rockhampton Ambulance Station to relocate the existing station.
ELECTION PLEDGE: Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles and Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke promised $5.5 million to build an expanded North Rockhampton Ambulance Station to relocate the existing station.

• North Rockhampton will be one of six locations across Queensland to benefit from a $31m investment in new and replacement ambulance stations as it moves to make way for the Rockhampton Ring Road.

• $5.7m will also be spent to establish a satellite renal dialysis unit at Yeppoon's Capricorn Coast Hospital providing eight new renal dialysis chairs.

•  Woollam Constructions began early site works in late November for Rockhampton's long-awaited Alcohol and other Drug Rehabilitation Centre. Anticipated to create 48 construction jobs, construction of the 42-bed units will commence in January with the first patients expected to walk through its doors in August 2021.

Education and training

• $8.4m total spend for a business case for a Rockhampton campus consolidation and a new Central Queensland TAFE Centre of Excellence.

ELECTION PROMISE: CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Nick Klomp welcomed Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Keppel MP Brittany for their announcement of $8.4m Stage 1 funding for the TAFE Centre of Excellence.
ELECTION PROMISE: CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Nick Klomp welcomed Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Keppel MP Brittany for their announcement of $8.4m Stage 1 funding for the TAFE Centre of Excellence.

• $2.5m to build a new aquaculture research facility at Rockhampton State High School.

• Hall State School was the big winner in the new funding announcement with $5m locked in

• Crescent Lagoon State School install A Block lift $85,000

• Crescent Lagoon State School provide equitable access to amenities and B Block $295,000

• Gracemere State School perimeter fence $400,000

• North Rockhampton State High School Provide equitable access to multipurpose hall stage $25,000

• Port Curtis Road State School replace septic system $250,000

• Rockhampton State High School School security fence $700,000

• The Hall School new multipurpose hall $5,000,000

Gracemere

• $10.7m will be spent establishing a new substation at Gracemere to improve network performance.

• $2.21m will be spent on a replacement of the auxiliary fire and rescue station at Gracemere.