The Federal and State governments have agreed to unlock $6 million in funding to help cover pre-construction work for the $60 million Big Rocks Weir project,  26km north of Charters Towers.

This funding, provided on a 50:50 split, will flow to Charters Towers Regional Council for activities including geotechnical work, environmental analysis and approvals and the development of a market-ready design.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project would boost the economy and confidence of communities in the Charters Towers region.

“Supporting over 200 construction and ongoing jobs, this project will provide significant growth and employment opportunities for the region,” he said.

“Agriculture is the beating heart of Australia. Our regions have been doing it tough with recent bushfires, droughts and now a pandemic, and this project will provide a reliable and sustainable source of water to help our northern Queensland farmers to recover and grow their businesses into the future.”

Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the construction of this weir was a unique opportunity to deliver an infrastructure project that would bring growth to the broader Charters Towers community.

“Local farmers can have confidence in planning for the future knowing that all levels of government are investing in new projects to deliver additional long-term water security,” Mr Butcher said.

“This project will develop a 188m-long, 10,000-megalitres-capacity weir at Big Rocks, supporting regional communities through an improved water supply network and creating more local jobs.”

The Australian Government has committed $54 million to the Hells Gates Dam Scheme, with $24 million to fully fund the detailed business case completed in August 2020 and $30 million towards the construction of the Big Rocks Weir.

Funding to kick along Big Rocks Weir work