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Rookwood Weir insiders confirm over-subscripton for water

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in Rockhampton last year to talk about infrastructure spending and the proposed Rookwood Weir.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in Rockhampton last year to talk about infrastructure spending and the proposed Rookwood Weir. Chris Ison ROK271016cpm2

UNOFFICIAL reports have surfaced of an over-subscription for water from Rookwood Weir.

Construction of the weir has the full support of the Federal Government with the Queensland Government waiting on the outcome of a business case being prepared by Business Queensland.

A credible source has told The Morning Bulletin the Prime Minister has been informed of the over-subscription.

Building Queensland is yet to release the commission demand study but Capricornia MP Michelle Landry yesterday confirmed insiders had indicated there was an over-subscription.

"We look forward to seeing the final results of the business case and getting this project underway to create over 2000 jobs for Central Queensland,” Ms Landry said.

Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo has long maintained Rookwood Weir would be insufficient to meet demand into the future.

He has been pushing for a mega dam on the Fitzroy River at The Gap, about 50kms north west of Rockhampton.

Studies into The Gap dam go back to the 1950s when it was first touted as a major nation-building infrastructure project.

But Ms Landry says the proposal has been analysed by scientists who say the dam is too shallow to be feasible in the tropics.

"The Fitzroy Gap Dam would put a million square hectares of land near Rockhampton under water, running 140km from the mouth of the Fitzroy River,” she said.

"It's breadth, while dwarfing the Snowy Mountains Scheme, would threaten numerous properties and does not have the depth to be financially sustainable.

"The price tag is unknown, but is possibly as high as $9 billion.”

She said such a colossal concept could take up to 10 years of scientific and environmental research before it could be even be considered by any government, while Rookwood was simply awaiting the final business case.

"If I thought it was the right thing to do I'd push for it, but we need to listen to the scientists on this, or we'll get distracted from the main game,” she said.

"If you thought there was a blue over land acquisition at Shoalwater Bay, this would be much bigger.

"This is prime agricultural land.”

A Building Queensland spokesman yesterday said they were continuing to develop a a preliminary business case from information received during the request for information process, which closed on May 12.

Topics:  business queensland dominic doblo malcolm turnbull michelle landry mp rookwood weir the gap dam

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