Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Long Dry Spell May Have Upside

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Long Dry Spell May Have Upside

Article excerpt

THERE could be a silver lining to Central Queensland's long dry spell.

Every day it doesn't rain, the pressure will be building to construct the Rookwood Weir near Gogango, 50km west of Rockhampton.

The first stage of the 15-metre-high weir on the Fitzroy River would provide a new storage of about 84,000 megalitres to supplement the Eden Bann Weir and the barrage at Rockhampton.

The project has been sitting in the "proposed" queue for much of this decade, but has been delayed by cost blowouts, and good rainfall, the last few years.

The cost of building the Rookwood storage, a key part of the Fitzroy River Joint Venture which had involved Rockhampton Regional Council, SunWater and the Gladstone Area Water Board, was estimated at $72m in 2008.

But the project has become so expensive that Rockhampton Regional Council was last year forced to pull out of the venture after total costs blew out to about $300m.

The council's share would have been around $100m. …

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