Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline project
On 23 February 2023, the Queensland Government announced approval for the $983 million Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline (FGP).
The pipeline will provide long-term water security and economic opportunity for the Central Queensland region.
Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) will construct, own, and operate the pipeline. Construction is expected to be completed in 2026, weather and construction conditions permitting. McConnell Dowell BMD Joint Venture has been appointed by GAWB as the construction contractor.
Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline features
The FGP comprises a 117-kilometre pipeline with capacity to transfer 30 gigalitres of water a year from the Lower Fitzroy River at Rookwood Weir and connect to GAWB’s existing water network at Yarwun. The FGP also includes a water treatment plant and pumping stations at Laurel Bank and Alton Downs, and reservoirs at Aldoga.
Why it’s needed
Awoonga Dam on the Boyne River is currently the only major source of bulk water for the Gladstone region. Awoonga Dam has been impacted by drought in recent decades affecting water security for the region.
The FGP will address the single source water supply risk from Awoonga Dam, provide long-term water reliability for GAWB’s customers, and support early-stage water demand for emerging industries including the hydrogen industry.
The Queensland Government’s approval of the construction of the FGP was based on a detailed business case and assessment, led by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water. The detailed assessment was completed in 2021.
It recommended the construction of the FGP to address the single-source water supply risk from Awoonga Dam to provide long-term water security to Gladstone’s industry and support ongoing economic development in the region.
The assessment is also consistent with key findings and recommendations made by the Bradfield Regional Assessment and Development Expert Panel Report to invest in water infrastructure closer to where it falls through the development of smaller scale regional water grids.
Pipeline operation and water security at Fitzroy Barrage
The pipeline is to be operated so that it does not compromise water security for current water users at the Fitzroy Barrage. Water supplied from Rookwood Weir to Gladstone via the FGP will have no long-term negative impacts on Rockhampton’s water security. Water allocations from Rookwood Weir will be granted in accordance with the Fitzroy water plan and the rules of the water management protocol.
Nearly half of the project value will be spent locally, driving regional investment in infrastructure that supports the state’s economy and jobs, builds resilience for industry and communities, and underpins future prosperity.
The FGP will create more than 400 jobs at the peak of construction with more than 25 apprenticeships and traineeships planned to be provided throughout the construction phase. $10 million will be spent with suppliers and businesses owned by First Nations Australians, in addition to 10,000 hours for workforce participation creating more valuable opportunities for First Nations Queenslanders.
The steel pipes are being manufactured by Steel Mains Pty Ltd, an Australian manufacturer and supplier of cement lined steel pipelines. The project will also utilise high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes manufactured in Queensland.
For more information about the FGP, visit GAWB’s website.
For more information about the Rookwood Weir project, visit Sunwater’s website.
Last updated: 25 Sep 2023