Big Rocks Weir

Project overview

Big Rocks Weir will provide additional water storage in the Charters Towers region, supporting further development of irrigated agriculture and providing greater security of supply of water for Charters Towers.

Investment

The project is valued at $60M and $30M is being provided  by each of the Qld Government and the Federal Government’s North Qld Water Infrastructure Authority (NQWIA). Once the weir is operating, income from water sales will pay for the operating expenses.

Key Features

Preliminary design includes a 188m mass concrete weir with a maximum wall height of 13.3m.

A secondary 56m long saddle dam of 4.4m height will also be constructed. The main weir will have a fish passage.

The weir will hold 10,000 ML of water. The impounded water will extend 16 km upstream when the weir is at its full supply level.

Location

The proposed Big Rocks Weir location is 30 km north of Charters Towers. It is located just to the south of the Big Bend camping area. The site is not accessible to the public as it is bounded on both sides by private property.

Contact Details

Further information on the project may be obtained by contacting Council on (07) 4761 5300 or mail@charterstowers.qld.gov.au.

Information on the Environmental Impact Assessment process can be obtained from the Office of the Coordinator General at https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/coordinator-general/assessments-and-approvals/coordinated-projects/current-projects/big-rocks-weir-project

Project Sponsor

  • Which Councillor's portfolio does the project belong to?

    Mayor - Frank Beveridge

Document References

NQWIA: Townsville Enterprise Feasibility Study including reference design:

Timeline

19 January 2021 - Initial Advice Statement, Environmental impact assessment (EIS)

29 January 2021 - Commonwealth Minister for the Environment decided that the project is a 'controlled action'

29 March 2021 - Gazettal of 'coordinated project' declaration

10 May to 7 June 2021 - Draft terms of reference for EIS public consultation (see below for information)

2021 – Geotechnical assessment, design review and confirmation, hydrology review

2022 – Water demand assessment, project detailed cost estimate, delivery model assessment, economic analysis

Oct 2022 – Pre-construction activities complete, decision made on proceeding with construction

2023 – Weir construction

FAQ's

  • The camping area will not be impacted when the river is not in flood. The access track will however be submerged where it crosses a small creek line and therefore the project will include the construction of a causeway.

  • The project includes the construction of a fishway to allow safe fish passage up and down stream.

  • No, the project will deliver a water storage on the Burdekin River. Agricultural users along the river already have means of extracting water. The weir will allow such users to purchase water allocations which will be far more reliable than their current allocations.

  • The cost of water will depend on a number of factors, including the water demand assessment, the economic forecast and the ongoing cost of operation of the weir.

  • The weir will be owned and operated by Charters Towers Regional Council and will deliver economic benefits and water security to the population of the region.

Community Consultation

The project has been declared by the Qld Coordinator General as a coordinated project and it will  undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment. The community will have the opportunity to comment on the draft terms of reference for the assessment. For more information on the assessment process, refer to the Coordinator General’s project page.

State Development Project Page

Big Rocks Weir - Big Future

Read and comment on the Draft Terms of Reference