The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), Queensland State Government and Rockhampton Regional Council have established a partnership to unlock the Fitzroy Food Bowl.

The partnership through the Communities in Transition initiative – Making Water Work program will assist landholders and investors to develop the Fitzroy Food Bowl through a process of planning, infrastructure development and de-risking agricultural development.

To unlock the Fitzroy Food Bowl the partnership is calling for proposals as part of an expressions of interest funding round seeking proponents and consultants to progress the Rockhampton Regional Council’s Making Water Work Business Case, which highlighted the need to unlock significant unmet agriculture export and domestic demands.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said the Fitzroy Food Bowl requires planning, continued infrastructure development and the budget to meet its potential.

“The development of Rookwood Weir was always the first step for the Fitzroy Food Bowl, through this partnership we want to flow quickly into further water infrastructure developments including the raising of Eden Bann Weir,” Mayor Williams said.

“Integrated water, road and power infrastructure through planning of agricultural precincts will advance Rockhampton’s agricultural exports and create long term sustainable jobs”.

Advance Rockhampton Executive Manager Greg Bowden said this collaboration will use cutting edge planning through supply chains, visionary land use planning, establishing agricultural precincts and circular economies to create a sophisticated Fitzroy Food Bowl.

“The Fitzroy Food Bowl’s development will have Rockhampton on the radar for local, domestic and international investment,” Mr Bowden said.

“As part of the Making Water Work program we will be looking to establish an integrated agricultural prototype, starting with the South Yaamba district.”

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), also part of this forward-thinking project, have been working to maximise the potential from the opportunities afforded by the Rookwood Weir.

DAF Regional Director Stephen Smith said it is already evident that there is market driven land use change which is occurring on the back of the Rookwood Weir development.

“Forward planning being undertaken by Rockhampton Regional Council and the CRC for Developing Northern Australia all points to really exciting growth pathways for agriculture and our community.”

The CRCNA’s Making Water Work program lead, Professor Allan Dale said the water development narrative is core to the development of Northern Australia and it is only fitting that the largest river catchment in Queensland is where it starts.

“The Rockhampton Region through the Making Water Work program will see value of agriculture increase dramatically and at the same time do so in a way that improves environmental values.”

“This water partnership is a foundational shift to unlock Rockhampton’s Fitzroy Food Bowl,” he said.

Expressions of interest forms and background information are available below:

  1. Defining a supply chain and development precinct vision
  2. Visionary land use planning to facilitate development precincts

Applications close 5pm AEST Friday 29 April 2022.

More information

Carla Keith, CRCNA General Manager 0499 330 051

Wade Clark, Advance Rockhampton (Rockhampton Regional Council), Industry Engagement Manager 0458 579 457