The $983 million Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline achieved a major milestone on 17 October, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Manufacturing, Regional Development and Water, Glenn Butcher, turning the sod on site in Aldoga, signifying the beginning of major construction.
The 117-kilometre pipeline will run from the Lower Fitzroy River in Rockhampton and connect to Gladstone Area Water Board’s existing water network at Yarwun, providing long-term water security to Gladstone and support ongoing economic development in the region.
Once complete, the pipeline, which is owned and operated by Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) and being constructed by McConnell Dowell BMD Joint Venture (MBJV), will have the capacity to transport 30 gigalitres of water every year from the Fitzroy River to Gladstone.
The sod-turning event follows the first pipes arrival from Steel Mains Pty Ltd to the MBJV laydown site in Gracemere on Monday 19 June 2023, and the laying of first pipes through Wetland Protection Areas near Rockhampton on 11 September 2023.
To date, approximately 3.5 kilometres of pipe has been laid through the northern pipeline corridor, including the wetland protection areas near Rockhampton.
GAWB Chair, Adrienne Ward, said she was honoured to take part in the sod-turning ceremony, alongside the Queensland Premier, and Minister Butcher.
“I am delighted to see our construction contractors have kicked off major construction on schedule, it’s an excellent start,” Ms Ward said.
“Water security has been an ongoing, critical issue for Gladstone due to the single source water supply risk from Awoonga Dam, which resulted in a Low Supply Alert Declaration being issued in April 2021 following continued failed wet seasons.
“The pipeline will allow us to access our water allocation from Rookwood Weir and will contribute to our vision of delivering safe and reliable water services to enhance the liveability of our region.
“We expect construction between Alton Downs and Bajool in the northern corridor to be completed by the end of 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.
“Preparative works, including geotechnical investigations and cultural heritage clearances are taking place at the southern end of the pipeline corridor, near Gladstone, with southern major works expected to commence in early 2024,” Ms Ward said.
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Minister for Water and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said the FGP will deliver water security to the Gladstone region, supporting more job creating industries.
“The Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline is proof that the Palaszczuk Government takes water security in Gladstone seriously.
“Right now, industry in Gladstone generates $6 billion in gross regional product every year and these activities depend on significant quantities of water now and into the future.
“This pipeline will allow Gladstone to access their water allocation from Rockwood Weir, which we know means security in good jobs and the delivery of safe and reliable water services to enhance the liveability of our region,” Minister Butcher said.
The Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline is expected to be delivered in 2026, weather and construction conditions permitting, creating more than 400 jobs at the peak of construction.