Renders of the new fish passage

In a step towards bolstering aquatic biodiversity and habitat connectivity, a $7 million fishway project is set to revolutionize the Fitzroy Barrage ecosystem. This fishway, an integral component of the Rookwood Weir Project, aims to facilitate safe movement of 31 native fish species along the Lower Fitzroy River system.

Announced by the Honourable Glenn Butcher, Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, and Minister for Water, the new fishway design incorporates 'cone' type blocks to enable seamless migration of smaller fish upstream and downstream, effectively connecting fish populations across the river.

The construction of this fishway is one of six additional projects within the overarching Rookwood Weir Project, which is strategically designed to enhance water infrastructure while promoting ecological well-being. The project's delivery is well on course, with construction progress exceeding the 90% mark, a testament to its swift and effective execution.

The fishway's introduction at the Fitzroy Barrage, situated downstream of the Rookwood Weir at Rockhampton, showcases the collaborative efforts between Sunwater and the Rockhampton Regional Council. Notably, this project fosters not only environmental gains but also economic benefits, generating employment opportunities and driving growth in the Central Queensland region.

"The fish lock and fish passage as part of the Rookwood Weir project is a great example of environmental, economic and social benefits being delivered hand in hand," commented Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, highlighting the multi-faceted advantages of this innovative project.

The landmark Rookwood Weir, located upstream of the Fitzroy Barrage, introduces a pioneering fish lock system, providing a mechanism for species migration. The newly introduced fishway at the Fitzroy Barrage further amplifies this effort, ensuring that fish populations can access their natural habitats with greater ease and frequency.

In conjunction with road upgrades and bridge construction, this fish passage initiative is a key component of the Rookwood Weir Project's comprehensive approach to fostering regional growth, environmental health, and water security. "This new fishway at the barrage will complement the innovative fish lock at the weir, with both supporting fish habitat and migration within the river," emphasized Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher.

The collaborative engagement with local authorities and stakeholders underscores the commitment of Sunwater, the project's driving force, to minimize the environmental footprint while maximizing ecological benefits. "Working with Rockhampton Regional Council to build this new fishway will help to deliver on that objective by allowing fish to make their way around water infrastructure and continue downstream," stated Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton.

With the Queensland and Australian Governments contributing a total of $367.2 million and Sunwater financing the remainder, amounting to $568.9 million, the Rookwood Weir Project is a substantial investment in the region's future.