Flood protection approved

Approval has been given for $18.5million of flood protection works to go ahead following positive community feedback.

The Environment Southland (ES) "shovel-ready" projects were expected to create more than 100 jobs.

At an extraordinary meeting of the council yesterday, ES councillors heard the outcome of public consultation on the schemes that would be 75% co-funded by government, and gave the go-ahead.

Operations general manager Jonathan Streat said there was quite a bit of positive feedback.

He called it affirmation the community recognised the opportunity provided.

Cr Peter McDonald asked if a number of contractors would be used to do the work and the answer was "yes".

Several tenders would be put out for the planned work.

"An element of the procurement process is a social dividend which is connected to providing employment to the locality," Mr Streat said.

Thirteen submissions were received from 11 individuals and organisations. Ten were in support and one was opposed.

The opposing submitter thought it was a good opportunity, but disagreed with the areas selected for upgrade.

Those included upgrades and repairs to flood protection infrastructure in the Mataura, Waiau and Waihopai catchments and the pumping station near Invercargill airport.

Up to $1.5million was planned to come from council reserves and options to fund the remaining $3.1million would be consulted on next year as part of the 2021-31 long-term plan .

The Invercargill and Mataura catchment upgrades, and the replacement of the pumping station near Invercargill airport were flagged in the 2018-28 long-term plan.

Work will begin in the new year.

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