WATCH: Drone footage captures start of Rookwood road project
SHOVELS have finally broken the ground to pave the way for the $352 million Rookwood Weir project.
The first stage of construction is the $7.5 million upgrade to Thirsty Creek Rd which will provide a vital link between the Rookwood Weir and the Capricorn Highway.
Rockhampton Regional Council will deliver this phase in the project, which involves widening 16.2km of Thirsty Creek Rd to 6.5m from the intersection of Riverslea Rd to the Rookwood Weir site.
The works will also include upgrading existing culverts, undertaking drainage works and applying a bitumen seal to some road segments.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga welcomed the milestone for the project.
"It's great to see our own Rocky Regional Council workers out there in their hi-vis undertaking the first works," Mr O'Rourke said.
"This is boots on the ground for Rookwood, and most importantly, they're even more local jobs."
Ms Lauga said she was looking forward to the government's Buy Queensland procurement policy delivering for more local workers and businesses.
"The Thirsty Creek works will generate the equivalent of 25 jobs and that's just the beginning as more contracts are awarded leading to more jobs," she said.
"I'd encourage our local CQ businesses to sign up at the online suppliers' portal for the opportunity to be part of this landmark project."
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said it was a landmark day for Central Queensland.
"We are building Rookwood Weir, and it is locals from Central Queensland who are breaking first ground and benefiting from even more jobs," Dr Lynham said.
"The Thirsty Creek Rd works are needed to improve access into the weir site to accommodate higher traffic volumes, work crews and heavy equipment."
The works are expected to be complete by July 2020.
Dr Lynham said there were two other tenders underway and another will open next month.
Bids are currently being assessed for the main construction partner and tenders are open to build a new Riverslea Bridge
Tenders for the upgrade of the Capricorn Highway intersection upgrade at Gogango are due to be announced in late December. The State and Federal Governments continue to finalise funding agreements for the project.
More than 100 businesses already have registered at an online portal at https://rookwoodweir.icn.org.au to supply goods or services to the project.
The Queensland Government say they have invested $1.1 billion in Central Queensland Infrastructure in the Central Queensland region supporting 3600 jobs this financial year.
Latest ABS figures show 4400 more jobs have been created in the Central Queensland district in the past year.
About Rookwood Weir
Rookwood Weir is being constructed on the Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton.
It will create up to 100 jobs.
The thousands of megalitres of water it will make available will underpin agricultural growth and supply industrial and urban water in central Queensland.
The Palaszczuk State Government and the Commonwealth continue to finalise funding agreements.
In the interim, the Palaszczuk Government has allocated $149 million over two years to allow detailed planning and design, and on ground works to proceed.