Funding streaming into Big Rocks Weir

20 October 2021

The Australian and Queensland governments have released $6 million in funding to pave the way for critical pre-construction activities for the long-awaited Big Rocks Weir.

The funding, provided on a 50:50 split, will flow to Charters Towers Regional Council in North Queensland.

The pre-construction phase will involve on-site geotechnical work, facilitate environmental analysis and approvals, maximise water yields for local irrigation, finalise engineering for the project, support the development of market-ready infrastructure design, and sure-up the water demand and pricing.

Pre-construction is expected to finish in late 2022, which subject to all approvals will allow construction to start in early 2023 following the wet season.

The Big Rocks Weir project will develop a 188 metre long, 10,000 megalitres capacity weir at Big Rocks. It will support over 200 construction and ongoing jobs, and provide significant growth, employment, recreational and tourism opportunities for the region.

Some of the water captured by the weir will be available to support up to 5,000 hectares of higher-value agriculture, including avocados, macadamias and citrus, with the rest going toward boosting water security in the Charters Towers region.

Big Rocks Weir is one part of the Hells Gates Dam Scheme – a nation-building scheme for north Queensland. 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 for the scheme, and $30 million towards the construction of the Big Rocks Weir.

Read more in the Deputy Prime Minister’s media release.