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The $60 million Big Rocks Weir project in the Charters Towers region has earned co-ordinated project status. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Queensland’s Coordinator-General had made the declaration for the project, which would now undergo a full environmental impact assessment process

“The Queensland Government supports progressing investigations into the construction of a 10,000 megalitre weir as proposed at Big Rocks on the Burdekin River, about 26km north of Charters Towers,” Mr Miles said.

“Big Rocks Weir would augment urban water supply, support local agriculture, create jobs and improve water security for the Charters Towers region.

“Charters Towers Regional Council estimates the project would have a capital cost of about $60 million and create 172 full-time equivalent jobs during construction.

“The decision to declare Big Rocks Weir a coordinated project means the Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement (EIS).”

These would be released for public comment to allow the community to have their say on what the EIS must address, he said.

The State Government has committed $3 million for Charters Towers Regional Council to conduct environmental and other regulatory approvals, geotechnical assessments, detailed weir design, and water product and pricing definition.

Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge said the decision by Queensland’s Coordinator-General to declare Big Rocks Weir a co-ordinated project was very welcome.
“Council has been continuously advocating to the state and federal governments to build Big Rocks Weir and this latest announcement is a big step in the right direction,” Cr Beveridge said.

“Water is essential to ensuring the Charters Towers Region is able to thrive well into the future. Big Rocks Weir will not only improve water supply to Charters Towers but also open up economic opportunity like high-value agriculture.

“Council looks forward to working closely with the state and federal governments on this vital piece of water infrastructure for the Charters Towers Region and wider North Queensland area.”

Water Minister Glenn Butcher said Big Rocks Weir was one of three water infrastructure projects in the broader Burdekin Catchment declared as coordinated projects and currently undergoing assessment.

“Others are the proposed raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam wall, declared a coordinated project in July 2020, and the proposed Urannah Project, declared in May 2020, which includes a dam, hydro-electricity scheme and water pipeline network 80km west of Mackay,” he said. “Jobs and water security will help to secure our state’s future.”