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Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental assessment has been undertaken for the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project (LFRIP). The purpose of the assessment was to explore the potential environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts likely to be associated with the LFRIP and to identify opportunities to avoid, mitigate and/or manage these potential impacts.

The LFRIP was determined to be a 'controlled action' by the Commonwealth Environment Minister on 7 January 2010, under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) (EPBC Referral 2009/5173).

Controlling provisions under the EPBC Act are:

  • World Heritage properties (sections 12 and 15(a))
  • National Heritage places (sections 15B and 15(c))
  • Listed threatened species and communities (sections 18 and 18(a))
  • Listed migratory species (sections 20 and 20(a))

In June 2010, the Commonwealth Department of the Environment issued Guidelines for an environmental impact statement (EIS) in relation to matters of national environmental significance (MNES) under the EPBC Act.

In May 2011, the Coordinator-General declared the LFRIP a 'coordinated project' for which an EIS is required pursuant to section 26(1)(a) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld). Terms of reference for the EIS were finalised by the Coordinator-General in April 2012.

In January 2014, the Project transitioned to assessment through the bilateral assessment process executed between State and Commonwealth governments. To facilitate this process, draft terms of reference addressing both State and Commonwealth requirements were re-issued and finalised in September 2014.

As a result, a single EIS was prepared for the LFRIP to address State and Commonwealth matters under the bilateral agreement.

Development of the EIS involved comprehensive desktop analysis and on site investigations with regard to environmental, social, cultural and economic values, including extensive consultation with impacted landholders and other key stakeholders.

The Coordinator-General has recommended that the LFRIP proceed subject to conditions and in accordance with recommendations set out in the LFRIP Coordinator-General’s evaluation report on the environmental impact statement (December 2016). The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy has granted approval for the LFRIP subject to conditions.

EIS Documents


EPBC 2009-5173 Final approval decision notice

(5.4 MB)


LFRIP Coordinator-General’s evaluation report on the environmental impact statement December 2016

(6.8 MB)

LFRIP EIS documents

Addendum to the additional information to the draft EIS

(23.9 MB)

Additional information to the draft EIS (AEIS)

AEIS Part 1 – Chapters 1-4

(21.8 MB)
  • Executive summary
  • Table of contents
  • Chapter 01 – Introduction
  • Chapter 02 – Consultation
  • Chapter 03 - Legislation, regulatory frameworks and project approvals
  • Chapter 04 – Land

AEIS Part 2 – Chapters 5-15

(27.3 MB)
  • Chapter 05 – Fitzroy River turtle and white-throated snapping turtle
  • Chapter 06 – Terrestrial fauna
  • Chapter 07 Surface water resources
  • Chapter 08 – Water quality
  • Chapter 09 – Noise and vibration
  • Chapter 10 – Transport
  • Chapter 11 – Consequential impacts
  • Chapter 12 – Environmental management plan
  • Chapter 13 Project commitments
  • Chapter 14 Conclusions
  • Chapter 15 - References

AEIS Appendices

Appendix A – EIS submission analysis register

(653 KB)

Appendix B – Consultation material

(7.4 MB)

Appendix C - Connectivity

(761 KB)

Appendix D – Revised project commitments

(517 KB)

Appendix E – Fitzroy River turtle and white-throated snapping turtle species management program

(24.9 MB)

Appendix F – Revised draft environmental management plan

(948 KB)

Appendix G – Offset proposal for the Fitzroy River turtle and white-throated snapping turtle

(3.5 MB)

Appendix H – Daily flow duration curves

(8.9 MB)

Appendix I – Sensitivity analysis (wet and dry years) daily flow duration curves

(540 KB)

Draft EIS – Volume 1 Chapters (State matters)

Executive summary

(4.0 MB)

Table of contents

(546 KB)

Chapter 01 - Introduction

(1.3 MB)

Chapter 02 – Project description

(19.3 MB)

Chapter 03 – Legislation and project approvals

(856 KB)

Chapter 04 – Climate, natural hazards and climate change

(591 KB)

Chapter 05 - Land

(34.1 MB)

Chapter 06 - Flora

(27.8 MB)

Chapter 07 – Aquatic ecology

(21.4 MB)

Chapter 08 – Terrestrial fauna

(30.3 MB)

Chapter 09 – Surface water resources

(13.5 MB)

Chapter 10 – Groundwater resources

(2.1 MB)

Chapter 11 – Water quality

(7.5 MB)

Chapter 12 – Air quality

(3.5 MB)

Chapter 13 – Greenhouse gas emissions

(370 KB)

Chapter 14 – Noise and vibration

(3.0 MB)

Chapter 15 - Waste

(320 KB)

Chapter 16 - Transport

(4.6 MB)

Chapter 17 – Cultural heritage

(7.8 MB)

Chapter 18 - Social

(2.1 MB)

Chapter 19 - Economics

(1.7 MB)

Chapter 20 – Hazard and risk

(1.4 MB)

Chapter 21 – Cumulative impacts

(4.5 MB)

Chapter 22 – Offsets

(3.2 MB)

Chapter 23 – Environmental management plan

(1.1 MB)

Chapter 24 – Conclusions and recommendations

(229 KB)

Chapter 25 References

(620 KB)

Draft EIS – Volume 2 Chapters (MNES)

Executive summary

(5.5 MB)

Table of contents

(410 KB)

Chapter 01 – Description of the action

(1.2 MB)

Chapter 02 – Project description

(19.2 MB)

Chapter 03 – Planning and approvals

(466 KB)

Chapter 04 – Consultation

(574 MB)

Chapter 05 – Alternatives to the project

(265 KB)

Chapter 06 - Methodology

(13.6 MB)

Chapter 07 – Existing environment

(25.4 MB)

Chapter 08 – General impacts

(1.6 MB)

Chapter 09 – World Heritage properties and National Heritage places

(3.0 MB)

Chapter 10 – Threatened species and ecological communities

(9.0 MB)

Chapter 11 – Migratory and marine species

(608 KB)

Chapter 12 – Cumulative and consequential impacts

(1.9 MB)

Chapter 13 – Environmental management system

(560 KB)

Chapter 14 – Offsets

(3.0 MB)

Chapter 15 - Conclusion

(253 KB)

Chapter 16 – Information sources and reference list

(459 KB)

Draft EIS Appendices

Appendix A – Final terms of reference

(1.1 MB)

Appendix B – Terms of reference cross--reference

(1.1 MB)

Appendix C – Glossary and abbreviations

(395 KB)

Appendix D – Study team

(264 KB)

Appendix E – Proponent’s environmental policies

(478 KB)

Appendix F – Consultation report

(8.8 MB)

Appendix G – Land – detailed mapping

Appendix H – Assessment of potential implications on native vegetation and terrestrial ecosystems (Nangura 2007)

(1.4 MB)

Appendix H - Appendices and Attachments

Appendix 1 – Vascular plant species recorded from the Lower Dawson River study area

(120 KB)

Appendix 2 – Report photo plates

(3.6 MB)

Appendix 3 – Biocondition review – riparian offset zones on upper bank

(253 KB)

Appendix 3a – Riparian offset zone photos

(7.8 MB)

Attachment 1 – vegetation maps

(279.6 MB)

Attachment 1 – Eden Bann impoundment vegetation maps

(63.6 MB)

Attachment 1 – Rookwood impoundment vegetation maps

(139.7 MB)

Attachment 1 – Field site vegetation maps

(1.4 MB)

Attachment 1 – Offset location maps

(13.6 MB)

Attachment 2 – Site photo gallery

(170 KB)

Appendix I - Flora - Detailed Mapping

Eden Bann Weir (FSL 18.2 m)

(6.1 MB)

Eden Bann Weir (FSL 20.2 m)

(6.2 MB)

Rookwood Weir (FSL 45.5 m)

(6.5 MB)

Rookwood Weir (FSL 49.0 m)

(6.8 MB)

Appendix J – Eden Bann Weir baseline aquatic ecology report

(9.2 MB)

Appendix K – Rookwood Weir baseline aquatic ecology report

(9.6 MB)

Appendix L – Fitzroy River turtle (Rheodytes leukops) technical report

(31.6 MB)

Appendix M – Fitzroy River turtle (Rheodytes leukops) species management program

(21.6 MB)

Appendix N – Eden Bann Weir baseline terrestrial fauna report

(16.1 MB)

Appendix O- Rookwood Weir baseline terrestrial fauna report

(16.0 MB)

Appendix P – Surface water resources supporting material

Part 1 – Regulatory framework and yield modelling

(3.6 MB)

Part 2 – Existing environment and potential impacts on stream flow patterns

(1.5 MB)

Part 3 – IQQM statistical modelling comparison, hydrologic investigations and modelling

(4.0 MB)

Part 4 – Hydraulic modelling and references

(4.0 MB)

Appendix A – MDS plots

(1.3 MB)

Appendix B – MDS plots (EB1 vs RW2+EB3; theoretical yield)

(899 KB)

Appendix C – Stream flow hydrology

(2.7 MB)

Appendix D – Flow duration curves

(1.6 MB)

Appendix E – Eden Bann Weir existing flood extents

E1 – 1 in 2 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

E2 – 1 in 5 year AEP

(46.7 MB)

E3 – 1 in 10 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

E4 – 1 in 20 year AEP

(45.9 MB)

E5 – 1 in 40 year AEP

(45.1 MB)

E6 – 1 in 100 year AEP

(44.6 MB)

Appendix E – Eden Bann Weir design flood extents

E7 – 1 in 2 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

E8 – 1 in 5 year AEP

(46.7 MB)

E9 – 1 in 10 year AEP

(46.4 MB)

E10 – 1 in 20 year AEP

(45.9 MB)

E11 – 1 in 40 year AEP

(45.3 MB)

E12 – 1 in 100 year AEP

(44.6 MB)

Appendix F - Rookwood Weir design flood extents

F7 – 1 in 2 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

F8 – 1 in 5 year AEP

(46.7 MB)

F9 – 1 in 10 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

F10 – 1 in 20 year AEP

(45.9 MB)

F11 – 1 in 40 year AEP

(45.1 MB)

F12 – 1 in 100 year AEP

(44.6 MB)

Appendix F - Rookwood Weir design flood extents

F7 – 1 in 2 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

F8 – 1 in 5 year AEP

(46.7 MB)

F9 – 1 in 10 year AEP

(46.5 MB)

F10 – 1 in 20 year AEP

(45.9 MB)

F11 – 1 in 40 year AEP

(45.1 MB)

F12 – 1 in 100 year AEP

(44.6 MB)

Appendix Q - Traffic and transport supporting material

Part 1 – Proposal for raising Eden Bann Weir and construction of Rookwood Weir

(15.6 MB)

Part 2 – Weir construction and traffic impact assessment

(2.0 MB)

Part 3 – Roads and bridges concept design, Part 4 - References

(22.4 MB)

Appendix R – Social impact assessment

(4.9 MB)

Appendix S – Economic assessment report (confidential)

(120 KB)

Appendix T – Counter-terrorism and critical infrastructure protection (confidential)

(114 KB)

Appendix U – EPBC protected matters search tool results

(713 KB)

Appendix V – IQQM yield assessment (confidential)

(114 KB)

Appendix W – Project commitments

(367 KB)

Appendix X – Fish passage technical report

(10.0 MB)

Appendix Y – Consolidated mitigation measures under EPBC Act

(378 KB)

Matters of National and State Environmental Significance

Approximately 20 hectares of Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla dominant and co-dominant) threatened ecological community will be impacted by LFRIP. Where loss due to impoundment and clearing is unavoidable, offsets are proposed. It is estimated that 100 black ironbox trees will be impacted by the Rookwood Weir impoundment. An offset is proposed for the unavoidable loss of these trees.

Impacts on regulated vegetation have been avoided and mitigated as far as practicable for the LFRIP. Offsets are proposed for 240 hectares of ‘of concern’ and 26 hectares ‘endangered’ regional ecosystems to compensate for the significant residual impact on regulated vegetation.

The LFRIP will impact on 1,947 hectares of connected vegetation areas. Conditions are stated for the LFRIP limiting disturbances to existing vegetation and providing offsets for the significant residual impact.

Offset requirements conditioned for the loss of 972 hectares of red goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiates) nesting habitat under the EPBC Act will mitigate impacts on powerful owl (Ninox strenua) nesting habitat impacted by the LFRIP (512 hectares).

The LFRIP has the potential to impact on Fitzroy River turtle (Rheodytes leukops) and white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula) aquatic (942 hectares) and nesting habitat areas. The LFRIP will implement a species management program, inclusive of undertaking a turtle movement study, construction of turtle passage infrastructure and turtle monitoring. Residual impacts are proposed to be offset using a combination of financial and land-based offsets for aquatic and nesting habitat impacts unable to be avoided, mitigated or managed.

No listed fish species of conservation significance have been previously recorded or are predicted to occur within the LFRIP study area. The LFRIP will create a barrier to fish passage and will modify and fragment in the order of 942 hectares of fish habitat. Fish passage infrastructure will be constructed and financial and/or direct offsets are proposed for significant residual impacts on fish habitat.

Water quality management and offsets are conditioned for the LFRIP for direct and consequential impacts, in particular sediment, nutrient and farm chemicals loads potentially impacting on the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Direct impacts on water quality are estimated from the release of nutrients from decaying vegetation. Consequential impacts may arise for the development of irrigated agriculture facilitated by the LFRIP. A water quality management and monitoring program will be developed and implemented to mitigate impacts. Where significant residual impacts persist, offsets are proposed.


Consultation and engagement with 58 directly impacted landholders has been ongoing and the Gladstone Area Water Board and SunWater are committed to continued engagement as the LFRIP development progresses.

The EIS addressed land impacts in relation to:

  • Contamination
  • Inundation of Aricia State Forest, infrastructure and properties
  • Soil erosion
  • Tenure appropriate for impacted land.

Water Resources

The LFRIP has the potential to impact on the flows within the Fitzroy River, Dawson River and Mackenzie River. Commitments in the LFRIP environmental management plan (EMP) are considered appropriate and can mitigate potential impacts on public infrastructure and on river morphology. Approvals are required for the LFRIP under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) and will ensure that operating rules for the weirs will meet environmental flow and water supply objectives and maintain water supply reliability to, or compensate, existing users.

Water Quality

Management commitments outlined in the draft EMP for the LFRIP will mitigate and manage water quality impacts associated with construction and operation of the LFRIP. In addition a water quality management and monitoring program will be developed and implemented. The results of the program will be used to inform the need for water quality offsets.

The LFRIP will develop and implement a land management code of practice attached to the sale of water for irrigated agriculture to promote and encourage best practice management and facilitate achieving the water quality objectives of the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan.


Net social and economic benefits will accrue to the region and State from the LFRIP through increased local employment, use of local suppliers, expenditure in the region and the provision of a secure water supply for industrial, urban and agricultural uses.

Social and economic benefits in relation to the following will be monitored and reported on annually:

  • Land access, acquisition and compensation
  • Local and regional training and employment
  • Impacts (if any) on local and regional housing markets
  • Community health, safety and well being.

Traffic and Transport

Hydraulic modelling shows that the annual average time of closure for upgraded river crossings during flood events would be reduced after the construction of the proposed weirs and upgraded river crossings.

For Eden Bann Weir, commitments include the construction of a new 12 km access road to the southern bank of the weir and measures to mitigate impacts on existing roads. These measures would include upgrades to the Bruce Highway and Atkinson Road intersection at Canoona, and the Glenroy Crossing. For Rookwood Weir, there would be upgrades of the intersection of the Capricorn Highway at Gogango, Thirsty Creek Road, and the Hanrahan, Riverslea and Foleyvale Crossings.

To maintain the safety, condition and efficiency of state-controlled and local roads, road-use and traffic management plans will be developed and implemented, together with measures committed in the EMP.

Air Quality, Noise and Vibration impacts

Implementation of the mitigation measures proposed in the LFRIP EMP will maintain air and noise emissions and ground vibration within acceptable limits.


Last updated 28 March 2017

Indicates opportunity for community input




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