Qld weir set for environmental assessment

·1-min read

A proposed $60 million weir in North Queensland will enter an environmental impacts assessment process after being assessed as having 'strategic significance'.

The Big Rocks Weir project located about 26 kilometres north of Charters Towers, is a 10,000 megalitre weir that will sit approximately 13 metres high.

Construction is set to begin in 2023 and will need to meet the environmental requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Deputy premier Steven Miles says the state government supports investigations into the the progress of the weir and will commit $3 million to conduct environmental and other regulatory approvals.

"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)," he said.

"The draft terms of reference will be released for public comment so the community can have their say on what the EIS must address.

"The community will also be invited to make submissions on the draft EIS that will be prepared after the terms of reference have been finalised."

Coordinated projects are those classed as having complex approval requirements and strategic significance in terms of infrastructure, economic and social benefits.

Minister for Water Glenn Butcher says Big Rocks Weir is 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,' Mr Butcher said.

"These include a dam, hydro-electricity scheme and water pipeline network 80 kilometres west of Mackay.

"Jobs and water security will help to secure our state's future."