Queensland’s Rookwood Weir (Managibei Gamu) now complete

22 November 2023

After more than 2 million hours of construction, central Queensland’s Rookwood Weir is officially operational. The weir’s name in the local Darumbal traditional language has also been revealed as Managibei Gamu, which means ‘keeping water’.

Water from the weir is expected to be available for use in 2024, securing much needed water supplies for the dry seasons ahead. The landmark project will boost water security, economic growth, agricultural production and industry in central Queensland.

Since construction began in 2020, the project has created more than 350 jobs and injected around $270 million into central Queensland’s economy. Now that it’s completed, the weir will provide 86,000 megalitres of water each year for agricultural, urban and industrial use. That’s more than 34,000 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water.

The completion also means:

  • enhanced irrigation to support grain, fruit and nut crops as well as livestock production
  • greater security for the region’s drinking water supplies
  • approximately 500 jobs expected in the years to come
  • an innovative turtle passage to allow 2 threatened native species of turtles to safely cross the weir
  • a fish lock to allow fish to safely navigate the weir.

The completion of Rookwood Weir highlights the Australian Government’s commitment to delivering water security for all Australians and is a great example for future projects. Rookwood Weir was awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council (IS Council) in early 2023 for its sustainable design and commitment to providing local jobs. Reducing the amount of cement used through design was one factor in the rating decision. The IS Council evaluates the environmental, economic and social performance of infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand.

Aerial view of Rookwood Weir which has been given a traditional language name of Managibei Gamu, meaning ‘keeping water’. Image credit: Sunwater.
Aerial view of Rookwood Weir, which has been given a traditional language name of Managibei Gamu, meaning ‘keeping water’. Image credit: Sunwater.

Other supporting projects

The construction of the weir also included building and improving supporting infrastructure in the region, such as roads, crossings and 2 new bridges.

Supporting projects include:

  • upgrade of the Capricorn Highway intersection
  • upgrade and widening of Thirsty Creek Road
  • construction of the 260 m long Riverselea Bridge
  • upgrade of Hanrahans Crossing
  • construction of the new Foleyvale Bridge (due for completion late 2023)
  • installation of a new fishway at the Fitzroy River Barrage (due for completion in mid-2024).

Community benefits during construction

The construction of Rookwood Weir delivered numerous benefits for communities in the central Queensland region.

For example, apprentices working on the project built cubby houses to diversify their skills in carpentry and help local families in need.

Other community benefits include:

  • 350 jobs during construction, many of which were local
  • $270 million spent in the region during construction, giving local businesses and suppliers a boost
  • workers were given the opportunity to work on a major infrastructure project to benefit the community for decades to come.

The $568.9 million project was jointly funded by the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and Sunwater. The Australian Government provided $183.6 million through the National Water Grid Fund.

Learn more about Rookwood Weir